As PM Khan prepares to address United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York next month, Pakistan aims for a meeting with US President Joe Biden. Since Biden will also attend the meeting, therefore, it is a perfect opportunity for PM Khan to hold a meeting with him regarding Afghanistan.
According to reports, Pakistan’s Embassy is making efforts for a meeting between PM Khan and Joe Biden on the side. Pakistan has been requesting a conversation with Joe Biden for the last eight months regarding Afghanistan.
As Pakistan plays an important role in Afghanistan, cooperation and coordination with the US on the situation are necessary. However, Joe Biden did not contact PM Khan ever since he took office as the US President.
Next month, both Biden and PM Khan will attend the UNGA address. Therefore, Pakistan is increasing efforts to have both leaders meet in New York.
However, reports say the White House did not respond yet again.
President Joe Biden’s refusal to call PM Khan is of serious concern. With US withdrawal from Afghanistan in the works and Pakistan’s role in the peace process, the two leaders need to establish direct contact.
Many dignitaries called out President Joe Biden for not contacting PM Khan despite Pakistan’s frequent requests.
In June, even Senior US Senator Lindsey Graham described Biden’s reluctance to reach out to PM Khan as “stunning.” He also warned that ignoring Pakistan while withdrawing from Afghanistan could lead to a disaster.
I believe that this decision by the Biden Administration to withdraw all forces and not stay engaged with Pakistan is a major disaster in the making, even worse than the blunder in Iraq.
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) June 22, 2021
PM Khan not waiting for a phone call
PM Khan, in talks with foreign journalists, said he was not really “waiting” for a phone call from Biden.
“I keep hearing that President Biden hasn’t called me. It’s his business. It’s not like I am waiting for any phone call,” he said in response to a question from a Reuters journalist.
Moreover, PM Khan’s comments come days after National Security Adviser Moeed Yusuf stated that Pakistan has other options if Biden continues to ignore the country’s leadership.
“The president of the United States hasn’t spoken to the PM of such an important country who the US itself says is make-or-break in some cases, in some ways, in Afghanistan. We struggle to understand the signal, right?” Yusuf told The Financial Times in an interview.
“We’ve been told every time that … [the phone call] will happen. It’s technical reasons or whatever. But frankly, people don’t believe it,” he said. “If a phone call is a concession if a security relationship is a concession, Pakistan has options,” he added, refusing to elaborate.