Islamabad, September 17, 2021 (PPI-OT): The Stimson Center today hosted Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States, Dr. Asad M. Khan, for a virtual discussion on the future of the Pakistan-U.S. relationship following the withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan. Ambassador Khan said that a broad-based and long-term relationship between Pakistan and the United States remained critical to advancing both countries’ bilateral and regional interests, including in a post-war Afghanistan. The ambassador said that a rich history of working together, natural cultural affinity, and a dynamic Pakistani American community would continue to reinforce and deepen Pakistan-U.S. ties in the future.
Turning to the recent developments in Afghanistan, Ambassador Khan stressed that Pakistan and the United States retained a fundamental convergence on achieving a politically inclusive end state in Afghanistan. He said that only a stable and broad-based government in Afghanistan would be able to ensure that Afghan territory is never exploited by transnational terrorist groups again. Ambassador Khan pointed out that Pakistan had joined the United States in urging the Taliban to uphold their commitments on guaranteeing safe passage to those who wish to leave Afghanistan, counterterrorism, protecting human rights, and forming a more inclusive government.
Ambassador Khan said that Afghanistan faced an “inflection point” in the form of a rapidly worsening humanitarian situation. He hoped that the world would not repeat the mistake of disengaging from Afghanistan. The international community must assist Afghanistan in averting more instability and a refugee crisis, which would impact not only its neighbours but countries farther afield. The event was broadcast live on C-SPAN and streamed on various social media platforms.
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