Thursday Sep 30, 2021
ISLAMABAD: Reacting to a proposed bill moved in the US Senate seeking to assess Pakistan’s alleged role in Afghanistan before and after the fall of Kabul to the Taliban, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said that the Republicans submitted the bill to build pressure on US President Joe Biden.
FM Shah Mahmood Qureshi, speaking in Geo News programme ‘Aaj Shahzeb Khanzada Kay Saath’, on Wednesday said that the opponents of Pakistan in the US are active and we are well aware of them.
The foreign minister said the anti-Biden administration in Congress views it [Afghanistan debacle] as a major opportunity to mount pressure on Biden. He said Pakistan cooperated with the US at every step, questioning if the Ashraf Ghani government surrendered how it becomes Pakistan’s responsibility.
He said besides India, some forces want to target and destabilise Pakistan and put the whole burden of the Afghan situation on Pakistan.
The minister said that he agreed to continue to engage with the US in a meeting with his US counterpart, revealing that soon an important US personality will visit Pakistan.
He said in the war against terror, Pakistan sacrificed 80,000 lives and suffered a loss of $150 billion. He said Pakistan disbanded al-Qaeda and played a positive role in the Afghan peace process.
Qureshi further said the US is shocked by the fact that its 20-year advanced technology and resources were in vain.
He said when Pakistan would say Ashraf Ghani government is fragile and does not enjoy people’s support, the US never heeded to this. He said had the US lent focus on our advice, today Afghanistan would not have faced a plethora of issues.
He said Prime Minister Imran Khan presented Pakistan’s viewpoint on the emerging situation in Afghanistan. Addressing the UNGA, the prime minister shed light on the issue in the backdrop of the present Afghan situation, he added. He said the world must know the pivotal role of Pakistan in ending terrorism and the price it had to pay in exchange for cooperation with the West.
He said in view of new realities, it is time to build new strategies. He also said that in near future, a high-profile US personality will visit Pakistan. He said not only Pakistan but all the regional countries are interested in Afghanistan. He said Pakistan continues to consult with all other stakeholders on the issue.
American senators have tabled a bill in the US Senate, demanding a deeper investigation into the Taliban's victory in Afghanistan and sanctions on the group as well as those who assisted them in driving out the Ashraf Ghani-led regime.
The 'Afghanistan Counterterrorism, Oversight, and Accountability Act' seeks to establish a task force that will focus on continued evacuation of American citizens, legal permanent residents and Special Immigrant Visa holders from Afghanistan.
Introduced by 22 American Republican senators, the bill seeks to tackle issues related to the Afghan withdrawal, such as counterterrorism strategies and sanctioning the Taliban for alleged human rights abuses in the country.
"Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, and not less frequently than annually thereafter, the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of Defense and the Director of National Intelligence, shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees a report on entities providing support to the Taliban," the bill read.