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Blinken's statement on Pakistan: 'US wants Islamabad to put pressure on Taliban'

US Secretary of State Anthony Blankenship has said that Pakistan has many interests in Afghanistan, some of which are not in line with US interests.

He added that the United States would review its relations with Pakistan on the issue of Afghanistan and see what Washington's policy on Afghanistan would be and what it expects from Pakistan.

The US Secretary of State also urged Pakistan not to rush into recognizing the Taliban government.

The Secretary of State made the remarks during a hearing Monday at a meeting of the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee.

There has been no official response from Pakistan to Blankenship's statement, but analysts say the United States has been appreciative of Pakistan's role in the Afghan peace process, while also questioning Pakistan's alleged role in Afghanistan. And this statement is a link in the same chain.

Ahmed Rashid, an Afghan affairs expert and author, says Pakistan has cooperated with the United States in Afghanistan in addition to helping the Taliban and the United States reach a peace deal. But Pakistan is still being questioned.

Speaking to VOA, Rashid said the United States believes the Taliban have not taken significant steps to address the concerns of the international community. Therefore, the United States would like Pakistan to influence the Taliban and force them to fulfill their promises to the international community.

The US Secretary of State said the Biden administration would review its relations with Pakistan.

Ahmed Rashid claimed that Pakistan's Afghanistan policy was not formulated by Pakistan's civilian government, adding that a large number of Pakistani military institutions were interfering in it. Therefore, it is not yet clear what Pakistan expects from the Taliban and whether the Taliban obey Pakistan.

According to him, until there is transparency in Pakistan's Afghan policy, the atmosphere of suspicion will remain.

During the hearing in the Foreign Affairs Committee of the US House of Representatives, Pakistan's role in Afghanistan was sharply criticized by various members of the House.

Pakistan has maintained that it has no favored party in Afghanistan and is in favor of a comprehensive government in Afghanistan.

'It was known that the US would throw all the rubble on Pakistan'

Dr Zafar Jaspal, a professor of political science and international relations at Quaid-e-Azam University, said it was known from the beginning that the United States would blame Pakistan for its alleged failure in Afghanistan after the withdrawal.

Talking to VOA, Zafar Jaspal said that the United States should realize that the US policy in Afghanistan has not been successful. Therefore, it is not appropriate to put pressure on other countries to achieve their goals.

Zafar Jaspal said that practically all countries have contacts with the Taliban and in practice it is tantamount to recognizing them. But Pakistan will not recognize the Taliban diplomatically until the international community recognizes them.

'International community opposes Taliban interim government'

Ahmed Rashid says the Taliban's interim government is not a comprehensive government in the eyes of the international community. It includes mostly Pashtun Taliban, many of whom are on the UN sanctions list. That is why the Taliban are being criticized because they do not represent other Afghan ethnic and political circles.

But Ahmed Rashid says that if Pakistan had influence over the Taliban, it could have raised objections to the names of the Taliban cabinet to convince the Taliban that this government would not be recognized by the world. Because it will not only damage the Taliban's reputation but also increase diplomatic difficulties for Pakistan.

He said it was not appropriate for the United States to put pressure on Pakistan to recognize the Taliban government or not. Because it will be Pakistan's own decision whether to recognize the Taliban government or not.

According to Zafar Jaspal, the United States believes that Pakistan has influence over the Taliban. But according to him, it is limited.

Pakistan's Foreign Office has not yet commented on the US Secretary of State's statement, despite a request from VOA.

But Pakistan's position has been that the Taliban are now a reality and the international community should keep in touch with them. Top Pakistani officials have said that Pakistan-US relations need to be looked at from a different perspective in Afghanistan.

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