WASHINGTON: Islamabad and Washington may not enjoy the same close relations they once had in the past, said Pakistan's Ambassador to the United States Asad Majeed Khan Wednesday.
Speaking to Geo News, Asad Majeed said, "At the moment, the Biden administration is facing a lot of criticism in the US. Even the American media is criticising Washington's Afghan evacuation policy."
Stating that Pakistan had a key role to play in Afghanistan [after the Taliban takover], the ambassador said that Pakistan may not enjoy as close, cordial relations with the US as it once did.
"To expect relations between Pakistan and the US to once again return to what they used to be in the past will not be a realistic approach," he said.
Majeed said Pakistan's ties with China were strong and brotherly. He said the US is an important partner of Pakistan, adding that Islamabad will do its best to maintain a balanced approach between the two countries.
While responding to a question, the envoy said news reports and analyses did not reflect the policies.
"Countries take independent decisions to protect their interests," he noted. "We are protecting our interests and will continue to do so. The US does the same," he added.
He said wherever Pakistan and America's interests aligned, people will observe both countries moving forward in their relations.
Taliban's takeover of Afghanistan
Ties between Pakistan and the US seem to be strained in the wake of the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan.
Despite assuming office earlier this year, US President Joe Biden has still not called or spoken to Prime Minister Imran Khan, even after the US evacuated its forces and citizens from Afghanistan.
In a recent interview with the Middle East Eye, PM Imran Khan spoke about not receiving a call from the US president.
"Well, you know, it's up to him. It's [US] a superpower," he had said.
When the interviewer told him he found that "absolutely astonishing" that the two heads of states had not yet spoken, PM Khan had said:
"Well, our security chiefs have spoken. Our foreign minister has been in touch with the US foreign secretary. But no, we haven't spoken, but we are in touch," he had added.