'Surprised' by Blinken's remarks on reassessing ties: Pakistan

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Islamabad [Pakistan], September 17 (ANI): Pakistan Foreign Office on Thursday expressed "surprise" over US Secretary of State Antony Blinken's remarks on reassessing bilateral ties with Islamabad, saying it was "not in line with the close cooperation" between the two nations.

This comes after State Secretary told Congress that the US will be looking at ties with Pakistan in the coming weeks to formulate the role America wants Islamabad to play in the future of Afghanistan.

During a weekly presser, Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson Asim Iftikhar Ahmad on Thursday termed Blinken's statement a "surprise", Dawn newspaper reported.

The spokesperson also highlighted that Pakistan's role in the Afghan peace process, facilitation of the multinational evacuation effort from Afghanistan.

Pakistan has had deep ties with the Taliban and other outfits in the region. Moreover, the country has been accused of supporting the group during the US's war on terror.

During his first testimony in US Congress after the Taliban seized control of Kabul, Blinken on Monday noted that Pakistan has "harboured" members of the Taliban including the terrorists from the proscribed Haqqani network.

Asked by lawmakers if it is time for Washington to reassess its relationship with Pakistan, Blinken said: "We are going to be looking at in the days and weeks ahead, the role that Pakistan has played over the last 20 years, but also the role that we would want to see it playing in the coming years."

Blinken made the remarks during his first testimony before Congress since the Taliban took control of Kabul. The top US diplomat laid out the Biden administration's posture toward the Taliban in remarks to the House Foreign Affairs Committee. (ANI)

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