Pakistani ambassador doubts US intelligence Taliban is seeking ‘retribution’ against Afghans
Sebastian Hughes, DCNF
The Pakistani Ambassador to the U.S. said he does not believe the Taliban is seeking “retribution” against Afghans, contrary to American intelligence, according to emails obtained by Politico.
Ambassador Asad Majeed Khan said in exchanges between the U.S. and Pakistan that the Taliban “were not seeking retribution, and in fact were going home to home to assure Afghans that there will not be reprisals,” based on “ground observations,” Politico reported.
U.S. State Department official Ervin Massinga noted that “he has seen reporting to the contrary and hopes the Taliban do not seek revenge.”
The sensitive, unclassified emails showed the U.S. is attempting to pressure Pakistan to cooperate in the fight against terrorist groups, such as ISIS-K and Al Qaeda, Politico reported.
Pakistan has been helpful to the U.S. when fighting groups like Al Qaeda, Politico noted, but U.S. officials regularly accused Islamabad of aiding the Afghan Taliban.
The Pakistani government suggested that it deserves more public recognition of the country’s role in aiding Afghan refugees who attempted to cross the border into Pakistan now that U.S. air rescues have stopped.
“It’s clear that the Biden administration from the top levels seems to have pretty deep reservations about Pakistan, born of years of experience, and is not willing to either give Pakistan a pass or kudos for anything that Pakistan might like,” Daniel Markey, a South Asia specialist and former State Department official, told Politico.
Massinga and Khan met on Aug. 26, the same day as the ISIS-K terrorist attack in Kabul, Politico reported. Khan offered his condolences and the use of Pakistani medical facilities.
“Acknowledging the tragedy, Massinga underscored the mutual interest Pakistan and the United States have in targeting ISIS-K and al-Qa’ida,” the description of the meeting stated, according to Politico.
President Joe Biden has yet to speak with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, Politico reported.
The State Department did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.