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Pakistan Involved In Harbouring Taliban Leaders, Needs To Line Up: US

Mumbai: Pakistan has harboured Taliban leaders, including members of Haqqani Network, and needs to “line up” with the international community regarding Afghanistan, said US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

Testifying before Congress on the Taliban victory in Afghanistan, Blinken said that Pakistan was involved in “harbouring members of the Taliban, including terrorists from the proscribed Haqqani Network.

“The role that Pakistan has played in the last 20 years and even before that consists in relentlessly making its bets about the future of Afghanistan. This is one that involves harboring members of the Taliban, including Haqqani,” he told the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

The top diplomat said that Pakistan has many interests, including some that are in “obvious conflict” with the US, the top diplomat said, adding that India’s involvement in Afghanistan has affected some “harmful” actions by Islamabad.

“What we have to see is to emphasize that every country, including Pakistan, meets the expectations of the international community has of what is required of a Taliban-led government if it’s to receive any legitimacy of any kind or any support,” Blinken said.

“Pakistan has a multiplicity of interests, some that are in conflict, clear conflict with ours. When it comes to Afghanistan, it’s focused, of course as well, on India and the role that India is playing in Afghanistan, and it looks at it through that prism as well,” he said.

He further said that the US would consider its relationship with Pakistan in the coming weeks to determine what role Washington would like to play in Afghanistan’s future.

Pakistan has had close ties with the Taliban and has been accused of being involved in the insurgent group’s military victory in Afghanistan after 20 years by the US-backed government, which was denied by Islamabad.

It is considered one of two countries, along with Qatar, where many senior Taliban leaders are believed to have fled after the US-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001.

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