Pakistan’s security adviser complains that Joe Biden has not called Imran Khan | World Weekly
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Pakistan’s National Security Adviser has complained about US President Joe Biden’s failure to contact Prime Minister Imran Khan as Washington seeks to help prevent the Taliban from taking control of Afghanistan after the withdrawal of US forces.
Washington’s cold shoulder comes as the Taliban have seized swathes of territory across Afghanistan in a ruthless offensive emboldened by the US withdrawal. The government of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has Publicly criticize Pakistan To support the Taliban to secure their strategic interests in the region.
Washington has relied on Pakistan in recent years to help bring top Taliban leaders to the negotiating table and secure a deal to get out of the country with few attacks on American soldiers. But despite Khan’s calls to be a partner for peace and to expand US-Pakistan relations outside Afghanistan, Biden has yet to contact him since taking office this year.
“The president of the United States has not spoken to the prime minister of such an important country that the United States itself says is succeeding or collapsing in some cases, in some respects, in Afghanistan — we struggle to understand the signal, right?” said Muayyad Yusuf, Pakistan’s National Security Adviser, The Financial Times in an interview at the Embassy of Pakistan in Washington.
“We have been told this every time… [the phone call] It’s going to happen, it’s technical reasons or whatever. But honestly, people don’t believe it.
“If the phone call is a concession, and if the security relationship is a concession, then Pakistan has options,” he added, refusing to go into details.
Pakistan has forged deep ties with its “iron sister” China, which has invested billions in infrastructure projects as part of the Belt and Road Initiative.
A senior Biden administration official said, “There are still a number of world leaders that President Biden has not been able to speak with in person yet. He looks forward to speaking with Prime Minister Khan when the time comes.”
The diplomatic humiliation is the latest setback in US-Pakistan relations after their cooperation during the War on Terror in the wake of the 9/11 attack on the Twin Towers by Al-Qaeda, the Islamist group founded by Osama bin Laden.
In 2004, the United States named Pakistan a major official non-NATO ally, prompted by Washington’s need for support to fight in Afghanistan. But US administrations have since accused its ally of harboring Taliban insurgents, allegations Pakistan has denied.
Under the Trump administration, the US cut $2 billion in security aid to Pakistan after Donald Trump accused his ally of “nothing but lies and deceit”. After Trump struck a deal with the Taliban dependent on Pakistan’s help, he invited Khan to the White House.
Yusuf traveled to Washington as part of a delegation including the head of Pakistan’s ISI to discuss the Afghan crisis.
A person familiar with last week’s discussions with National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said the conversation about Afghanistan had been “difficult” but that securing a political settlement – which regional experts see as unlikely while the Taliban make battlefield gains – could help improve the interstate relationship. the United States and Pakistan dramatically.
“There are a lot of efforts underway to try and get that [negotiated settlement] The person said. “This is a moment when we can say our interests really do align, but it is really up to them to figure out what they want to do next.”
Some analysts in Washington have pointed out that Khan has been ignored because he is seen as a puppet of Pakistan’s powerful security and military apparatus.
“There is no doubt about cutting off civil-military contact in Pakistan, let me be categorical if the Prime Minister and the delegation did not direct me to come here, we would not be here,” Yusuf said, adding that Pakistan was reducing influence over the Taliban.
During their visit, US broadcaster PBS aired an interview with Khan in which he said the US had “really messed it up” in Afghanistan, adding that Washington had treated Pakistan “like it was a weapon”. It was one of a batch of coins recently targeting the American public that shocked some US officials as an odd timing given Pakistan’s efforts to secure a reset.
Yusuf said his conversation with Sullivan was “constructive” but that Pakistan would “reconsider” such media appearances if they backfire, saying the goal was “not to anger anyone”. [but to] He put forth Pakistan’s view of the situation very frankly.
Additional reporting by Stephanie Findlay in New Delhi