US Senate Legislation Calls For Report On Pak’s Role In Taliban Offensive, Islamabad Says “Unjustified”

A bill was introduced in the US Senate requesting a report from the Secretary of State on his assessment of Pakistan’s role in the Taliban offensive that led to the overthrow of the US-backed Afghan government and its support for the The Taliban offensive in the Panjshir Valley, provoking Islamabad called the move “unwarranted”.

Twenty-two Republican senators on Tuesday introduced legislation in the Senate to impose sanctions on the Taliban in Afghanistan and all foreign governments that support the hardline Islamic group that has seized power in Kabul.

The “Counterterrorism, Surveillance and Accountability Act in Afghanistan” also calls for a report from the Secretary of State on his assessment of Pakistan’s role in supporting the Taliban from 2001 to 2020; in the offensive that led to the overthrow of the Afghan government and the examination of Pakistani support for the Taliban offensive against the Panjshir Valley and the Afghan resistance.

Pakistan on Wednesday said the country’s reference in legislation presented to the US Congress was “unwarranted.”

In response to questions from the media on the bill introduced by US senators, the Foreign Office said in Islamabad that the bill appears to be a reaction to the ongoing debate in Washington both in the media and on Capitol Hill. Hill to reflect and examine the circumstances that led to the US withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Taliban fighters in front of Kabul University, Afghanistan (AP)

“The legislation includes references to Pakistan which are totally unjustified. We find all these references incompatible with the spirit of Pakistan-American cooperation on Afghanistan since 2001, including the facilitation of the Afghan peace process and during the recent evacuations of American and other nationals from Afghanistan, ”said the Minister. FO in a press release.

He said Pakistan has always maintained that there is no military solution to the conflict in Afghanistan and that a coercive approach will not work, adding that the only way to achieve long-term lasting peace in Afghanistan was engagement and dialogue.

In addition, sustained security cooperation between Pakistan and the United States would remain essential to deal with any future terrorist threat in the region, FO said.

He went on to declare the proposed legislative measures “unjustified and counterproductive”.

Afghan women stand outside their tents in an open area on the outskirts of Chaman, a border town in Baluchistan Province, southwest Pakistan. (PA)

The Taliban swept through Afghanistan last month, taking control of nearly all key cities amid the withdrawal of US forces that began on May 1. On August 15, the capital Kabul fell into the hands of the insurgents.

The Taliban claimed victory over opposition forces in the last resistant Panjshir province on September 6, completing their takeover of Afghanistan three weeks after the capture of Kabul.

Pakistani Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed has rejected claims by the US administration that his country has provided military support to the Taliban.

“The United States accuses us of facilitating the Taliban, but we only facilitated them to bring them to the table at the request of the United States,” he said at a ceremony in Islamabad on Wednesday.

Rashid said Pakistan is making efforts to get the world to engage with the Taliban to bring peace to this war-torn country. “We are on the side of the world and we want the world to be on the side of Afghanistan in this difficult situation,” he said.

On the New Zealand cricket team’s decision to cancel tour of Pakistan over security threats, Rashid said “the whole New Zealand military is not so important than the security we have provided them in Pakistan “. He said Pakistani cricket will continue along with the country despite the challenges.

Lightning kills 14 in village of Torghar in Pakistan

At least 14 people, including women and children, were killed on Sunday when lightning struck three homes in a remote village in northwest Pakistan.

Heavy rains, accompanied by lightning and thunder, started on Saturday evening and continued until the early hours of Sunday, destroying the three mud houses in the village of Torghar, in the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK), officials said.

These mountainous districts of Hazara Division are generally prone to mudslides and rain-related incidents during monsoon months.

Residents and rescue teams recovered bodies from the debris and transferred two injured to Abbottabad hospital.

The fourteen killed included women and children, officials said.

The Disaster Management Authority, KPK, sent relief supplies and rescuers to the affected village, but mudslides in the mountainous areas have delayed efforts. Operations are underway to clear the roads, officials said.

The National Disaster Management Authority has issued a rain alert for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab, Islamabad and eastern Balochistan.