Washington: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has taken swipes at Pakistan for its role in fanning terrorism by nurturing the Taliban movement. He added that Pakistan’s involvement in Afghanistan is also guided by India’s role in the embattled nation.
“The role that Pakistan has played throughout the past 20 years and even before is one that is involved hedging its bets constantly about the future of Afghanistan. It’s one that’s involved harbouring members of the Taliban, including Haqqanis,” Blinken said today (Indian time) in an address to the Congress as quoted by ANI.
“It (Pakistan) has a multiplicity of interests, some that are in conflict, clear conflict with ours. When it comes to Afghanistan, it’s focused, of course as well, on India and the role that India is playing in Afghanistan and it looks at it through that prism as well,” Blinken added.
Blinken underscored the US effort in providing humanitarian aid to Afghanistan. “Just today we announced that US is providing nearly USD 64 million in new humanitarian assistance to people of Afghanistan, to meet critical health and nutrition needs, address protection concerns of women, children, and minorities.”
Defending his President Joe Biden’s decision of complete withdrawal of troops from the war-torn country, Blinken added, “Had he (US Pres) not followed through on his predecessor’s commitment, attacks on our and our allies’ forces would have resumed and Taliban’s nationwide assault on Afghanistan’s major cities would have commenced.”
Meanwhile, Biden is set to host the first in-person Quad Leaders summit in Wqshington amid the pandemic on September 24. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to attend the meet which would also feature his counterparts from Japan and Australia apart from Biden. Quad comprises USA, India, Japan and Australia. The Taliban advent in Afghanistan would be one of the contentious issues slated to come up for discussion among the leaders.