Foreign Office Says Pakistan Won't Take Any Pressure On The Decision To Recognise Taliban Govt

Pakistan’s decision on recognising the Taliban government in Afghanistan will be determined by its national interests, the Foreign Office has said.

“There is no pressure and we do not take any pressure. We will take independent decisions in line with our interests,” said FO spokesperson Asim Iftikhar Ahmad. He was responding to a question whether Pakistan was facing US pressure not to recognise the Taliban government.

Earlier, while testifying before the Congress, Secretary of State Antony Blinken had urged Pakistan to not to give legitimacy to the Afghan Taliban unless they met international demands.

“Pakistan needs to line up with a broad majority of the international community in working toward those ends and in upholding those expectations,” Blinken had said.

Pakistan has urged the international community to accept that the Afghan Taliban were the new reality and that it was time to work with them.

Ahmad said Pakistan was surprised by the comments made by US lawmakers and Secretary Blinken about its role in Afghanistan. He said these remarks were not in line with the close cooperation between Islamabad and Washington.

When Blinken was asked by US lawmakers if it was time for Washington to reassess its relationship with Pakistan, he responded that the administration would soon be doing that.

“This is one of the things we’re going to be looking at in the days, and weeks ahead - the role that Pakistan has played over the last 20 years but also the role we would want to see it play in the coming years and what it will take for it to do that,” the secretary had said.

“We have noted that the comments were not in line with the close cooperation between Pakistan and the US,” FO spokesperson told reporters on Thursday.

“Pakistan’s positive role in the Afghan peace process, the recent facilitation of the multinational evacuation effort from Afghanistan and continued support for an inclusive political settlement have been duly acknowledged, including most recently by the US State Department spokesperson in his briefing on September 15,” he added.

“Pakistan played a critical role in helping the US degrade al-Qaeda’s core leadership in Afghanistan. Pakistan always maintained that there was no military solution to the larger Afghan conflict and that a political settlement offered the only plausible pathway to sustainable peace in Afghanistan – a position now shared by the US,” Ahmad said.

The FO spokesperson said an inclusive political settlement in Afghanistan that represented its diversity and reflected the gains made by the country was a shared objective for 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.