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On Thursday, the US’s statement on reassessing bilateral ties with Islamabad left the Pakistan Foreign Office in surprise. Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson Asim Iftikhar Ahmad said that it was not in line with close cooperation between the two countries.

The development comes after the statement given by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Blinken mentioned that in the coming weeks, the US will be looking at ties with Pakistan to formulate the role America wants Islamabad to play in the future of Afghanistan.

Talking to the media, Ahmad also mentioned the key role of Pakistan in the Afghan peace process and the facilitation of the multinational evacuation effort from Afghanistan. Reportedly, Pakistan had deep ties with the Taliban, and it was accused of supporting the group during the US’s war on terror.

During his first testimony in US Congress after the Taliban seized control of Kabul, Blinken on Monday noted that Pakistan has harbored members of the Taliban including the terrorists from the banned Haqqani network. He was grilled by the lawmakers and was questioned whether it was the time for Washington to reassess its relationship with Pakistan. Blinken made the remarks during his first testimony before Congress since the Taliban took control of Kabul.

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