THIS refers to the rport ‘FO criticises Blinken’s remarks on Pakistan’ (Sept 17) wherein the Foreign Office has criticised US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s remarks during the first Senate hearing on the American withdrawal from Afghanistan.
I watched this hearing and felt that Blinken’s knowledge about the issue was limited. He made misinformed statements as his fellow lawmakers came up with a verbal volley of questions. Probably in the heat of the moment, he also agreed to blame Pakistan under pressure which showed his ignorance on the subject.
To gauge the truth for oneself, one should watch the conversation between Blinken and Democrat Senator Chris Van Hollen.
Among other things, the senator, when asked if it was agreed that the Taliban could not attack the American forces but could attack Afghan forces with impunity, Blinken said: ‘That is correct’.
Is there any doubt anymore about whom to blame for the fiasco? It is without an iota of doubt that Pakistan facilitated the talks and tried to bring all the stakeholders to the table. Senator Hollen rightly said that it is in Pakistan’s interest to prevent chaos and civil war in its neighbourhood.
Someone should advise Blinken to get his facts right, and one way of doing that is by getting all the details about Afghanistan’s suffering in the last 40 years.
Everyone knows about the sacrifices and the sufferings of Pakistan during these four decades. We have lost precious lives, and our economy suffered seriously. Still, we are hosting about 3.5 million Afghan refugees on our land, and helped in the recent evacuation of personnel from Afghanistan.
The sole objective behind all these acts by the Pakistani establishment has always been to have peace in the neighbourhood after 40 years of war and turmoil.
Dr Hasan Tharani
Published in Dawn, September 21st, 2021