Islamabad: The US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman Friday said that the United States was not recognizing Taliban government in Afghanistan at the moment; however the country was in broad consultation with the world for seeking a common approach.
“The United States, is not at this point recognizing a government in Afghanistan. As Secretary Blinken said legitimacy has to be earned. Over a period of time and set of actions, we need to see and understand how the Taliban is going to move forward,” she said in a brief media interaction during her two-day visit here.
Sherman said the US had been holding a broad consultation with the whole world including Russia and China.
“US has made a clear and most of the international community agrees that we are looking for an inclusive government” and that Afghanistan should not be a safe haven for terrorism, human rights including women and children be upheld besides ensuring safe travel for Afghan people.
The deputy secretary, who arrived here Thursday night from India after visiting Switzerland and Uzbekistan, said during every interaction, they were trying to come to a common understanding and approach to ensure a better future for Afghan people.
She said the Taliban has made many public commitments including to allow freedom of movement, an inclusive government, uphold human rights, allowing unhindered access for humanitarian aid and prevent Afghanistan from once again harboring terrorists trying to harm the United States and allies and partners.
“We will not judge the Taliban on their words, but on their actions. And so far, their actions have fallen far short of those public commitments,” she commented.
Wendy Sherman, who earlier met Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and National Security Advisor last night, said during her interactions, she discussed the importance of holding the Taliban accountable to the commitments they have made.
Expressing condolence over losses in Thursday’s earthquake hitting Balochistan, the deputy secretary of state said her visit was specifically to hold in-person discussions with the government about the situation in Afghanistan, and important and longstanding bilateral relationship.
Sherman, who was about to meet Chief of the Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa before winding up the visit, said her conversation with NSA Dr Moeed Yusuf was “forthright and direct.”
“Although the U.S. military mission in Afghanistan has ended, our commitment to the Afghan people has not. We are extremely concerned about the worsening humanitarian situation in Afghanistan,” she remarked.
Sherman’s visit follows a trip by CIA Director William Burns to Pakistan last month following the takeover of Taliban with whom the US had been in negotiations since long and had also signed a peace deal in Qatar early last year.
The US top second diplomat told media that in Afghanistan, around a million Afghan children were at risk of starvation, above 18 million Afghans needed humanitarian assistance.
In September, she said the United States announced $64 million in new humanitarian assistance for the people of Afghanistan and also appreciated Pakistan for increasing its humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan in recent weeks, including providing millions of dollars in food aid.
She also apprised media of her visit to UNHCR DRIVE Center to meet with refugee families and said lauded Pakistan having a “long history of generosity toward refugees, and has hosted Afghan refugees for more than four decades.”
She said with Afghanistan being on “top of the agenda”, she also discussed other issues of mutual interest as both the countries had a long history of security cooperation and deep personal relationships between military leaders being essential components of counterterrorism efforts.
He mentioned that the US had had donated nearly 16 million vaccine doses to Pakistan so far this year and announced another 9.6 million doses to be delivered through COVAX in the near future.
“The United States is providing these vaccines free of charge, with no strings attached—because we know that no one is safe from COVID-19 until everyone is safe,” she stated.
He said the a strong, prosperous, democratic Pakistan was vitally important for the region—and, indeed, for the wider world.
“We have had many years of productive partnership with Pakistan toward that goal, and we look forward to many more to come,” she added and hoped for frequent contact between two countries regarding Afghanistan and bilateral ties.
Regarding a bill moved by US Senators for assessing Pakistan’s role in Afghanistan, she said there were hundreds of pieces of legislations coming in the House and thousands of amendments, they get opted all of the time. “So, we are watching. We understand Pakistan’s concerns and let us see how things proceed,” she remarked.