HIGHLIGHTS:

  • US directly instructed Pakistan to team up with other nations to force the Taliban regime to uphold the basic rights of Afghan people
  • House lawmakers grilled Blinken on a wide range of issues starting from the withdrawal of troops, to the collapse of the Ashraf Ghani government
  • Two Democratic lawmakers namely, Bill Keating and Joaquin Castro brought up Pakistan

On Monday, the Secretary of State, Antony Blinken cited that the US directly ordered Pakistan to team up with other nations to force the Taliban regime to uphold the basic rights of Afghan people, including women and children. He also instructed Pakistan to stress other issues such as humanitarian assistance and form a representative government.

Blinken informed the lawmakers that the US is reviewing its relationship with Pakistan, which is a Major Non-Nato Ally (MNNA), in view of its role in Afghanistan.

Sources claimed that the house lawmakers grilled Blinken on a wide range of issues starting from the withdrawal of troops, to the collapse of the Ashraf Ghani government. Blinken was also questioned for the unplanned and chaotic evacuation from the war-torn country.

Two Democratic lawmakers namely, Bill Keating and Joaquin Castro brought up Pakistan. Calling Pakistan’s role in Afghanistan ‘duplicitous’, Keating asked if the administration was reviewing the relationship with Pakistan, its status as one of only 17 countries that the United States has designated MNNAs.

The MNNAs include Afghanistan, Argentina, Australia, Bahrain, Brazil, Egypt, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Korea, Kuwait, Morocco, New Zealand, the Philippines, Thailand, and Tunisia. However, in 2004, Andy Biggs, a Republican member of the House of Representatives had introduced a bill in the House in January calling for ending Pakistan’s status as an MNNA.

Meanwhile, the US also needs Pakistan’s cooperation for the safe passage of its citizens. Pakistan’s role in Afghanistan has also been shaped by its concerns about India in that country, the secretary of state added.

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