WASHINGTON: United States is in regular contact with Pakistan on Afghanistan and the two countries have discussed the issue in some detail, State Department spokesman Ned Price has said.
“We have been in regular touch with Pakistani counterparts as well as Pakistani leadership. We’ve discussed Afghanistan in some detail,” he said in reply to a question at his daily press briefing about Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s statement that US was reviewing its relationship with Pakistan.
Pakistan, the spokesman pointed out, was represented at the ministerial meeting that Secretary Blinken and German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas convened last week at Ramstein Airbase in Germany.
“Pakistan contributed to that forum, echoed much of what we heard from other participants,” Price said. “And as I said before, there was a good deal of consensus that the gains of the past 20 years, especially on the part of Afghanistan’s women and girls and minorities, is – preserving those is in everyone’s interests.”
He said that easing the humanitarian plight of the people of Afghanistan is in everyone’s interest, adding that includes Pakistan as well as countries that may be farther afield. The spokesman noted that Pakistan had frequently advocated for an inclusive government with broad support in Afghanistan.
”What the Secretary (Blinken) was referring to yesterday is that we are going to continue to look to Pakistan and to other countries in the region to make good on their public statements, to in different ways step up to support the people of Afghanistan and to work constructively not only with us but the international community to see to it that the priorities that we share – and that includes the humanitarian concerns, it concerns the rights and the gains of the Afghan people over the past 20 years, as well as the counter terrorism concerns that we all have-to ensure that we are all walking in the same direction,” Price added.
On Monday, Secretary Blinken said the US would be looking at its relationship with Pakistan in the coming weeks to formulate what role Washington would want it to play in the future of Afghanistan. NNI