Pakistan vital for ‘any sustainable solution’ in Afghanistan, says US lawmaker

Published August 28, 2021
In this file photo, US Senator Lindsey Graham addresses a gathering in Central, South Carolina on June 1, 2015. — Reuters
In this file photo, US Senator Lindsey Graham addresses a gathering in Central, South Carolina on June 1, 2015. — Reuters

US Senator Lindsey Graham said on Friday that Pakistan must be part of a “sustainable solution” to the conflict in Afghanistan.

His remarks came following a discussion on the region with Pakistan's Ambassador to the US Asad Majeed Khan.

“Any sustainable solution in Afghanistan must include Pakistan,” the US senator wrote on Twitter, calling the region “very complicated” and the current period “dangerous”.

“We all must remember Pakistan is a nuclear-armed nation,” he said, adding that “there is a Pakistan version of the Taliban who wishes (to) topple the Pakistani government and military.”

“Very much appreciate the efforts of the Pakistani government to assist with the evacuation of US citizens, our allies, and other nations,” Graham wrote on Twitter.

Responding to the US senator in a tweet, the Pakistani Ambassador said he had spoken to Senator Graham on the evolving situation in Afghanistan, and briefed him on Pakistan's efforts to support evacuations from Afghanistan.

A few days ago, the US had reached out to Pakistan and half a dozen other countries it believes can influence the situation in Afghanistan, where the Taliban appear to be consolidating their hold after capturing Kabul.

The foreign ministers of Pakistan, China, Russia, India and Turkey and the foreign secretary of Britain were among the top diplomats US Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke with on Aug 16, his office had announced in a statement.

Later, Blinken had called his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mehmood Qureshi to discuss Afghanistan and the developing situation there.

According to Radio Pakistan, Qureshi had assured Blinken during their telephonic conversation that Pakistan would remain closely engaged with the US and other international partners in "promoting efforts for supporting a peaceful and stable Afghanistan".

The foreign minister had stressed the importance of an "inclusive political settlement as the best way forward" in Afghanistan and the need for the US to continue economic engagement with Afghanistan.

National Security Adviser Moeed Yusuf had on Aug 26 also underlined that the United States and Pakistan had a shared interest in working together in Afghanistan.

“I’m not asking for any sympathy for Pakistan,” the NSA said. “I’m thinking in terms of pure US selfish national interests. How does it help to push away a country of this size, stature and power,” he wondered.

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