• Monday, October 03, 2022

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‘Engage Pakistan in Afghan peace process’

People gather with their heavy weapons to support Afghanistan security forces against the Taliban, in Guzara district, Herat province on June 23, 2021. (Photo by HOSHANG HASHIMI/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Chandrashekar Bhat

A SENIOR US senator has disapproved of president Joe Biden’s perceived “unwillingness” to engage Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan and warned that the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan “will not be effective” without coordinating with Islamabad.

Republican senator Lindsey Graham said it will be “disastrous” for the US to pull all its forces from Afghanistan without staying engaged with Pakistan in the peace process.

“Stunning to hear that President Biden hasn’t reached out to the Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan regarding the US-Pakistan relationship and Afghanistan,” Graham tweeted on Tuesday (22).

He added, “how do we expect our withdrawal from Afghanistan to be effective without coordinating with Pakistan? Clearly the Biden administration believes that our problems in Afghanistan are behind us.”

“I believe that this decision by the Biden administration to withdraw all forces and not stay engaged with Pakistan is a major disaster in the making, even worse than the blunder in Iraq,” Graham said in his social media post.

His remarks came days after Khan said in a television interview that he was yet to speak to Biden since he became the president.

Senior American officials had discussions with Pakistan authorities in recent months, seeking military bases in Pakistan to help the US cope with security situations after its pull-out from Afghanistan. Khan has, however, flatly denied such a possibility, saying any collaboration with American forces in the affairs of the war-torn country could lead to revenge attacks in Pakistan.

He said Islamabad is playing an active role in the Afghan peace process as peace and stability in the country is important for Pakistan.

Eastern Eye

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