When questioned if Pakistan could help them have discussions with the Taliban, Mr. West replied, “To be honest, I don’t think we need a third country to facilitate our engagement with the Taliban.”
He stated that ”I am in very regular touch with the Taliban. There are other colleagues of mine in the US government who are also engaging. I think that dialogue needs to be direct. I don’t think we need a third country”
In an interview, Mr. West also rejected the idea that for the United States to access Afghanistan, Pakistan’s airspace is required.
“We need to continue diplomacy to ensure that … the Taliban …fulfil … (their) terrorism commitments (and) uphold the rights of Afghans which they are not doing across the board,” he asserted. “I think we need to ensure that those other countries — that share a border … common languages, cultures and traditions — do this work in a complementary fashion.”
The US envoy stated that the whole Muslim world seemed to have “an incredibly important and credible role” to play in interacting with the Afghans — “with the Afghan women, with the Ulema as well as with the Taliban” — to achieve this goal rather than emphasizing Pakistan as the nation that could persuade the Taliban militants to fulfill their responsibilities.
Mr. West emphasized that in order to reach this goal, US envoys were already in contact with countries including Indonesia, Qatar, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and others.
The US official responded, “As we made clear, following… our withdrawal from Afghanistan in August 2021, we were going to, and we have reorganized our capabilities in the region to ensure that terrorists never threaten the United States or our allies ever again.” when asked if the US required over-the-horizon entry and via Pakistan to Afghanistan.
During his three-day visit to Islamabad, Mr. West claimed he had “intensive discussions” with the officials of a key partner nation “about our shared interests in Afghanistan.”
When asked why US President Joe Biden questioned the security of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons in a recent statement, he responded, “I have nothing further to say on that topic for you.
Mr. West only said that the Zawahiri attack and the Taliban’s harboring of Ayman al-Zawahiri were a gross violation of the Doha accord when asked why the US had not refuted Pakistan’s involvement in the drone attack against Zawahiri in Kabul.
He stated that this month in Doha, US officials and Taliban representatives met for the first time since Kabul’s fall to discuss how to prevent Afghanistan from ever serving as a sanctuary for terrorists once more. Therefore, he continued, “we are going to keep engaging the Taliban in that regard pragmatically.”