- Says US President Biden has not spoken to the PM of such an important country who the US itself says is make-or-break in Afghanistan's situation
- US official clarifies Biden will speak to Imran Khan when the time is right
National Security Adviser Moeed Yusuf has said that if the United States President Joe Biden continues to ignore Pakistan's leadership, the country has other options.
In an interview to Financial Times at the Pakistan embassy in Washington, Moeed said: “The president of the United States hasn’t spoken to the prime minister of such an important country who the US itself says is make-or-break in some cases, in some ways, in Afghanistan — we struggle to understand the signal, right?”
He added, “We’ve been told every time that . . . [the phone call] will happen, it’s technical reasons or whatever. But frankly, people don’t believe it.”
“If a phone call is a concession, if a security relationship is a concession, Pakistan has options,” he remarked.
"There is no question of a civil-military disconnect in Pakistan. Let me be categorical: if the Prime Minister had not instructed me and the delegation to be here, we wouldn't have been here,” said Yusuf.
Meanwhile, a senior US official in the Biden administration clarified that there are still many world leaders President Biden has not been able to speak with personally yet. "He looks forward to speaking with Prime Minister Khan when the time is right,” he said.
Yusuf is currently in Washington to discuss the Afghan conflict amid US troop's withdrawal from Afghanistan. On July 27, the NSA left for an official visit to the United States.
Moeed's visit is part of high-level bilateral engagements between the two countries, which he and his US counterpart Jake Sullivan agreed on in their last meeting in Geneva on May 24 this year.
Earlier, Yusuf met with Sullivan in Washington and discussed matters related to bilateral relations and regional issues. Both the NSAs agreed to keep the momentum in Pak-US ties. On the occasion, Sullivan underlined the importance of immediate steps to defuse tensions in Afghanistan.
On August 3, US Senator Christopher J Van Hollen appreciated Pakistan's role in Afghan peace process, saying that Pakistan has played an important role in the safe withdrawal of its troops from Afghanistan.
In an exclusive talk aired on PTV World, Hollen said there was a lot of uncertainty after the US forces announced withdrawing its troops from Afghanistan, and it is neither in Pakistan nor in the US interest to see chaos and anarchy in the conflict-hit country.
He said that Pakistan has already played an important part in bringing Taliban to the negotiating table and its role in the future will influence the Biden administration to engage with Pakistan. He said the future of Pak-US relations would primarily rely on the role that Pakistan opts to play in Afghanistan.