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Bipartisan anger against Pakistan in the US, as Blinken promises to reassess relationship

"Pakistan supports the Haqqani Network, Taliban with US taxpayers' money"

USA-BIDEN/BLINKEN US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken | Reuters

In a sign of bipartisan anger against Pakistan in the United States, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken announced in a congressional testimony that the country will reevaluate its relation wiith Pakistan. Blinken told the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee that Pakistan has a "multiplicity of interests some that are in conflict with ours." "It is one that is involved hedging its bets constantly about the future of Afghanistan, it's one that's involved harboring members of the Taliban," he said, reported news agency Reuters. 

Earlier, US lawmakers—across party lines—had expressed outrage over Pakistan's "duplicitous" part in Afghanistan post 9/11 and demanded that Washington reassess its relationship with Islamabad. Congressman Joaquin Castro, the Democrat from Texas, asked Blinken that given Pakistan's longtime support for the Taliban and harbouring the group's leaders over the years, is it time for the US to reassess its relationship with Pakistan and reassess Islamabad's status as a major non-NATO ally. "For the reasons you cited as well as others, this is one of the things we will be looking at in the day and weeks ahead, the role that Pakistan has played over the last 20 years and the role we would want to see it play in the coming years," Blinken responded to Castro, Chair of the Subcommittee on International Development, International Organisations and Global Corporate Social Impact.

Observing that the relation with Pakistan bothers him, Congressman Bill Keating, Chair House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia, Energy, and the Environment and House Armed Services Committee, said Islamabad has played by all accounts a negative role in Afghan affairs for decades. "They created, named, and helped the Taliban regroup in 2010 in Pakistan and the ISI has strong ties with the Haqqani Network which is responsible for the death of US soldiers," Keating said. Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan celebrated the Taliban takeover of Kabul, describing it as breaking the shackles of slavery, he added.

Over the past several months, the Indian embassy led by ambassador Taranjit Singh Sandhu has been making an intensive outreach to eminent US Congressmen and senators.

Congressman Scott Perry said Pakistan supports the Haqqani Network and the Taliban with the US taxpayers' money, asserting the US must no longer pay Pakistan and revoke its non-NATO ally status. "With the open support given by the ISI to the Taliban and Haqqani Network, it is time to consider stronger relations with India," said Republican Congressman Mark Green, Ranking Member of the Western Hemisphere, Civilian Security, Migration and International Economic Policy.

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