This week there was a wake-up call for Mr. Imran Khan. It was not that much awaited telephone from the White House telling the Prime Minister that President Joseph Biden is on the line. Rather the call went out from the corridors of Capitol Hill where some 22 Republican Senators tabled a Bill titled “Afghanistan Counterterrorism, Oversight and Accountability Act” that essentially seeks to examine not the genesis of the flawed American policy but the process that led to the clumsy and chaotic departure from that Central Asian country.
The stinging part has to do with the bill requiring an examination of “support by state and non state actors, including the government of Pakistan, to the Taliban between 2001 and 2020, provision of sanctuary space, financial support, intelligence support, logistics and medical support, training, equipping, and tactical, operational or strategic direction.” The Bill also goes on to seek an assessment of support by state and non state actors including the government of Pakistan for the 2021 Taliban offensive that toppled the government of Ashraf Ghani in Kabul. Islamabad may say all it wants that it had no role in the Taliban offensives but it is a known fact that top military brass of Pakistan including the head of the Inter Services Intelligence were in Kabul for the Taliban welcoming party!