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HomeGeopolitical CompassSouth & Southeast AsiaAn uneasy limbo for US-Pakistan relations amidst the withdrawal from Afghanistan

An uneasy limbo for US-Pakistan relations amidst the withdrawal from Afghanistan

Author: Madiha Afzal 

Affiliation: Center for Economic Research in Pakistan

Organization/Publisher: Brookings Institute 

Date/Place: August 6, 2021/USA

Type of Literature: Article 

Word Count: 1540


Keywords: US, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Taliban


The author evaluates the contemporary developments happening in the South Asian landscape as a follow-up to the US withdrawal from Afghanistan. The US has evacuated approximately forty thousand American and Afghan nationals from Kabul Airport since August 15, 2021. The Taliban’s 313 Badri Battalion is controlling all important installations and peripheries of Kabul International Airport whereas the US and Allied Forces are managing security parameters of the runway and the airport building. Meanwhile, the Taliban is pacing up the formation of a new government while appointing key Taliban leaders to important posts. The history of US-Pakistan relations from the perspective of Afghanistan is volatile, with trust issues and doubts on credibility from both sides. Islamabad unconditionally supported the US invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 while providing both land and air routes for the US and NATO supplies. Furthermore, the US kept asking Pakistan’s administration to “do more” in facilitating intelligence-based operations in Afghanistan and for Pakistan to hunt down Al-Qaeda’s leadership. After the initiation of peace talks in Doha, Qatar, the US compelled Pakistan to push the Taliban for negotiations. The US administration still assumes that Pakistan has a grip over the Afghan Taliban, but the reality is something else. The Taliban’s new ranks have suffered twenty years of war, living in difficult terrain away from their families. They consider the US’ withdrawal as their success, and that one cannot impose conditions on the successor. US-Pakistan relations will become more complicated in the near future due to the refusal of providing airbases to US forces and Islamabad’s adopting a neutral stance on Afghanistan.


By: Muhammad Taimoor Bin Tanveer, CIGA Senior Research Associate



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