Thursday September 23, 2021

‘Pak-US ties ‘normal’ despite no call between Biden, Imran’

July 31, 2021

LONDON: The US spokesperson for the Office of International Media Engagement Zed Tarar has said that no telephone call from President Joe Biden to Prime Minister Imran Khan in over six months doesn’t mean that US-Pakistan relations are not functioning well.

“The officials of the two administrations are in regular contact with each other and cooperating at various levels, as normal. I don’t want to go into the logistics of the telephone call matter. Only a few days ago, the US gave three million vaccine doses to Pakistan as a goodwill gesture,” Zed Tarar said, during an interaction with Pakistani media.

The diplomat said that US-Pakistan relations are based on “mutual respect” and the two countries have an “old friendship”. He said that it is actions that speak and that is reflected in the relations between the two countries.

When asked if the US had requested Pakistan for the use of military bases, the diplomat said that there was “no demand” and “no request” and "this has been made clear".

When asked by Geo News why the US had left Afghanistan in a hurry, leaving behind a chaotic and civil war-like situation, the American diplomat said that “it’s now time that the Afghan people decide the future of Afghanistan”.

He said: “Withdrawing from Afghanistan doesn’t mean that the US has abandoned Afghanistan. This means that the US wants a stable and peaceful Afghanistan where there is no use of force and use of guns.

"Our assistance to the people of Afghanistan will remain there and President Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken have said that it is not in the interest of anyone if there is violence and civil war in the country. "Antony Blinken has said that Pakistan and China and other regional countries don’t want a civil war in Afghanistan."

Zed Tarar is a fluent speaker of Urdu. His parents are originally from Lahore. After initial education in Lahore, he moved with his parents to Boston.

He has served in several countries before being appointed at the US Embassy London Regional Media Hub.