Don’t blame Pakistan for ‘Fall of Kabul’ Pakistan tells the US

By Our Staff reporter

Islamabad: In a move which seems to put a dent in already fragile Pakistan-US relationship, a bunch of US senators has asked the senate to order an inquiry into Pakistan’s alleged role in fall of Kabul.

As per media reports, as many as twenty two US senators have moved a bill in the Senate that seeks to assess Pakistan’s alleged role in Afghanistan before and after the fall of Kabul and in the Taliban offensive in Panjshir Valley.

Senator Jim Risch, ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and other Republicans introduced the Afghanistan Counter terrorism, Oversight, and Accountability Act in the Senate on Monday to address outstanding issues related to the Biden administration’s “rushed and disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan.”

The proposed legislation calls for a comprehensive report on who supported the Taliban during America’s 20 years in Afghanistan, helped the militants in capturing Kabul in mid-August and supported their offensive on Panjshir Valley.

According to Dawn, the proposed legislation requires the secretary of state, in consultation with the secretary of defense and the director of national intelligence, to submit a report on entities providing support to the Taliban to the appropriate congressional committees.The report must reach the relevant committees “not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this act, and not less frequently than annually thereafter”.

The first report shall include “an assessment of support by state and non-state actors, including the government of Pakistan, for the Taliban between 2001 and 2020,” including the provision of sanctuary space, financial support, intelligence support, logistics and medical support, training, equipping, and tactical, operation or strategic direction.

The legislation also requires “an assessment of support by state and non-state actors, including the government of Pakistan, for the September 2021 offensive of the Taliban against the Panjshir Valley and the Afghan resistance”.

We continue to see the grave implications of the Biden administration’s haphazard withdrawal from Afghanistan,” Senator Risch said in a statement issued by his office.

“We face a renewed terror threat against the United States, and the Taliban wrongly seek recognition at the United Nations, even as they suppress the rights of Afghan women and girls.”

However, Dr. Shireen mazari, federal Minister for Human rights, reacted sharply to the US senator’s move and said it was not fair to blame Pakistan once again for US failure.

” So again Pak will be made to pay heavy price 4 being an ally of US in its “War on Terror” as a Bill (see pp 25-26) is introduced in US Senate in aftermath of the US’s chaotic Afghan withdrawal followed by collapse of ANA & Ashraf Ghani’s flight to UAE,” Mazari, an outspoken member of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s cabinet , said.

It is worth noting that Prime Minister Imran Khan said earlier this week that Pakistan must not be blamed for the outcome of the war in Afghanistan and for the losses of the United States, stressing on setting eyes on the future to avoid another conflict instead of continuing with a blame game.

“Today, with Afghanistan at another crossroads, we must look to the future to prevent another violent conflict in that country rather than perpetuating the blame game of the past,” he wrote in an op-ed for The Washington Post on Monday.

The premier emphasised that Pakistan “surely” could not be blamed for the fact that “300,000-plus well-trained and equipped Afghan security forces saw no reason to fight the lightly armed Taliban”.

The underlying problem, he said, was an Afghan government structure lacking legitimacy in the eyes of the average Afghan.

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