Pakistan’s National Security Adviser (NSA) complained, on Monday, about US President Joe Biden for not speaking to Prime Minister Imran Khan – as Washington seeks Pakistan’s help to stop the Taliban from taking over Afghanistan following the US troop withdrawal.
Moeed Yusuf said that if the US President, Joe Biden, continues to ignore the country’s leadership
– Pakistan has several other options to look forth.
“The president of the United States doesn’t speak to the prime minister of such an important country — we struggle to understand the signal, right?” Yusuf told The Financial Times in an interview.
He said that Pakistan had been told that the phone call would happen after the removal of a technical glitch.
“But frankly, people don’t believe it anymore. If a phone call and a security relationship is a concession, Pakistan has other options to explore,” he added, refusing to elaborate.
Pakistan has developed deep ties with its “iron brother” China as the latter has invested billions in infrastructure projects in a bid to enhance its Belt and Road Initiative.
A Biden administration official said: “There are several world leaders President Biden has not been able to contact personally yet. He looks forward to holding a phone call with Prime Minister Khan when the time is right.”
Washington leaned on Pakistan in the last few years to help bring senior Taliban Leadership to the discussion table and lock a deal to exit the country with fewer attacks on American soldiers.
But Biden has yet to call him since taking office this year despite calls from Khan to be an ally for peace and broaden US-Pakistan relations beyond the borders of Afghanistan.
The diplomatic affront is the newest setback in US-Pakistan relations after their collaboration during the war on terror following the 9/11 attack by Al-Qaeda.