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Pakistan’s role in Taliban empowerment is victory for hard-line supporters, senior US senator says

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Pakistan’s role in activating the Taliban is a victory for extremists in the country’s government, a senior US lawmaker said, saying ongoing developments in Afghanistan and Islamabad’s role in Kabul do not send a good message to India. .

Republican Senator Marco Rubio, in a Congressional hearing on Afghanistan on Thursday, said several US administrations were guilty of ignoring Pakistan’s role in helping the Taliban to regroup, while others US senators have expressed concern over Islamabad’s “double game”.

“India, I know there was an announcement today that there will be a Quad meeting pretty soon, which is a good development, except the Indo-Pacific region, if you’re India, you look at that and say, “If the United States allowed Pakistan to shed its reputation,” he said.

“Because Pakistan’s role in all of this – and I think several administrations are guilty of ignoring it. Pakistan’s role in empowering the Taliban is ultimately a victory for these hard-line government supporters. Pakistani, ”Rubio told Blinken.

US President Joe Biden will host the first in-person Quad Summit in Washington on September 24, attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga.

The four leaders would discuss promoting a free and open Indo-Pacific, tackling the climate crisis and deepening their ties and promoting practical cooperation in areas such as combating COVID -19, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on Monday.

“They (the Indians) have to look at this and say if the United States could have, you know, a third-rate power like Pakistan unraveling its objectives, what chance do they have of facing China? let this leave us in a terrible situation, ”Rubio said at the Congress hearing on Afghanistan convened by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

He said that during all these years, as the Taliban suffered losses, they had a safe haven in Pakistan.

“They were able to go there to rest, to re-equip, to train, to recruit. And so, in short, even before the withdrawal, we had a terrible status quo. Security forces, a small number of American forces, you know. , continued to die, “he said.

Senator Mike Rounds said Pakistan sees the Taliban government as a partner in countering India.

Rounds said the Iranian president openly called it a US military defeat and was considering working with the Taliban.

In his remarks, Senator Robert Menendez, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, referred to Pakistan’s “double game” and “providing a safe haven” to the Taliban.

Senator James Risch told Blinken that the United States must understand Pakistan’s role in this whole affair.

Blinken told angry U.S. lawmakers on Monday that the United States would review the role Pakistan played over the past 20 years after lawmakers expressed outrage at Pakistan’s “duplicity” role in Afghanistan after 9/11 and demanded that Washington reassess its relations with Islamabad.

U.S. lawmakers have also urged the Biden administration to reassess Pakistan’s status as a major non-NATO ally.

The Taliban seized power in Afghanistan on August 15, two weeks before the United States was ready to complete the withdrawal of its troops.

READ ALSO | Taliban are normal civilians, how Pakistan supposed to hunt them down, asks PM Imran Khan

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2/ https://www.indiatoday.in/world/story/pakistan-taliban-hardliners-us-senator-marco-rubio-1852892-2021-09-15

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