‘Pakistan has other options’: NSA Yusuf tells US over Biden snub

Washington DC [US]: Pakistan has other options if US President Joe Biden continues to ignore the country’s leadership, National Security Adviser (NAS) Moeed Yusuf has said in an interview to The Financial Times (FT). However, Pakistan NSA Yusuf did not elaborate on his options.

This comment comes amid Islamabad’s growing frustration over Joe Biden’s snub to Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan. Biden hasn’t called Khan since he assumed office in January this year.
“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?” Yusuf said, as quoted by Dawn newspaper.

“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,” he said. “If a phone call is a concession, if a security relationship is a concession, Pakistan has options,” he added.

Despite efforts from Pakistan NSA, Islamabad’s ties with the US remains in a critical state. Top Pak top officials have been holding a series of meetings with the top US administration officials but ‘divergent’ views on Afghanistan and China have proved to be a hurdle between both the countries, The Nation reported citing a diplomatic source.

“Divergent views on Afghanistan and China factor are the reason for tense ties between Islamabad and Washington, after the meeting, the US National Security Adviser’s tweet was focused on Afghanistan while there was no mention of Afghanistan in Dr Moeed Yousaf’s tweet,” the source informed.

The US has urged Islamabad to put pressure on the Taliban, however, the Pakistan side made it clear that they do not have any control over the Taliban.

In FT interview, Pak NSA complained about the US President’s failure to contact Imran Khan as Washington sought help to stop the Taliban from taking over Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, an official from the Biden administration told FT: “There are still a number of 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.”

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