Pakistan's neighbours, lobbies behind US bill seeking sanctions against our country, says Shah Mahmood Qureshi

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Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi
Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi

Islamabad [Pakistan] October 1 (ANI): Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Friday lashed out at "Pakistan's neighbours, lobbies" for having a hand in the US bill tabled by Republican senators that sought sanctions against the country for its role in aiding the Taliban.

In a joint press conference with his Danish counterpart, Qureshi informed that the two countries spoke at length about the Afghanistan issue, adding that both sides had mutual interests in the war-ravaged country.

"Pakistan has been affected by militancy in Afghanistan," he noted. "We don't want terrorists to regroup in the country."

Speaking about the US bill that seeks sanctions against Pakistan, he said that Pakistan seeks to defend itself and believes in cooperation.

"The US Congress must understand Pakistan's role (in Afghanistan crisis)," he stressed. "Lobbies and Pakistan's neighbours are behind the bill (that has been tabled)."

A bill was introduced in the US Senate calling for a probe into Pakistan's support to the Taliban for the 2021 offensive that led to the fall of the Afghan government.

The legislation titled the 'Afghanistan Counterterrorism, Oversight, and Accountability Act', aims to address the outstanding issues related to the Administration's rushed withdrawal from Afghanistan.

More than 20 US Senators on Tuesday introduced the bill and demanded sanctions on the Taliban in Afghanistan and the foreign governments that support the outfit, The News International reported.

"Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, and not less frequently than annually thereafter, the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of Defense and the Director of National Intelligence, shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees a report on entities providing support to the Taliban," the legislation stated.

It further calls for an assessment of "support by state and non-state actors, including the Government of Pakistan, for the Taliban between 2001 and 2020, provision of sanctuary space, financial support, intelligence support, logistics and medical support, training, equipping, and tactical, operational, or strategic direction.

The legislation seeks to assess support by state and non-state actors, including the Pakistan government, for the 2021 offensive of the Taliban that toppled the Government of Afghanistan. (ANI)

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