During his weekly media briefing here, Foreign Office spokesman Asim Iftikhar Ahmad termed Blinken’s remarks as surprising given Pakistan’s positive role in the Afghan peace process, recent facilitation of the multinational evacuation effort from Afghanistan.
While testifying before Congress on Monday, Blinken had 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.
Blinken told the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee that Pakistan had a “multiplicity of interests, [with] some that are in conflict with ours”.
Asked by lawmakers if it was time for Washington to reassess its relationship with Pakistan, Blinken said the administration would soon be doing that.
Ahmad said Pakistan’s positive role in the Afghan peace process, facilitation of the multinational evacuation effort from the war-torn country, and continued support for an inclusive political settlement had been “duly acknowledged”, including by the US state department spokesperson in his press briefing on Wednesday.
He said that achieving an inclusive political settlement in Afghanistan that reflected the country’s diversity and protected the gains made during the last two decades remained a “shared objective” of Pakistan and the US.
“We look forward to building on this convergence while also strengthening other aspects of a broad-based and constructive relationship,” he added.
To another question, he rejected the impression that Pakistan was under pressure to recognize the Taliban government. “There is no pressure, and we do not take any pressure. We will take independent decisions in line with our interests,” he said.
Ahmad also said that a dossier on Kashmir has been shared with the world community, which is yet another step towards sensitizing the international community about India’s “defiance of international law and all humanitarian norms.”
India has repeatedly told Pakistan that Jammu and Kashmir “was, is and shall forever” remain an integral part of the country. It also advised Pakistan to accept the reality and stop all anti-India propaganda.