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09/27/2021 Pakistan (International Christian Concern) – Distrust between the United States and Pakistan has grown deeper since the fall of Kabul and the withdrawal of U.S. troops last month. Pakistan and the U.S. were allies in the twenty-year war in Afghanistan, but that has not stopped a growing divide in its wake. The U.S. has repeatedly accused Pakistan of cultivating the Taliban while telling the U.S. it was helping to fight the Taliban. For its part, Islamabad cites what it calls failed promises from the U.S. to cultivate a non-Taliban government in Kabul.

The U.S. has long wanted Pakistan to assist it in countering terrorism in the region. So far, the U.S. has not found Pakistan to be a reliable ally in this effort. Pakistan is seeking good relations with Washington, but openly celebrates the rise of the Taliban and their takeover of Afghanistan.

The duplicitous nature of the relationship has proven increasingly troublesome, even drawing criticism from India which supported the U.S.-backed government in Kabul throughout the war. India has repeatedly accused Pakistan of harboring the Taliban.

Adding to the distrust is the looming humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, which will certainly affect the broader region. Price surges and a teetering economy that was mainly supported by foreign aid is hanging on by a thread. If it completely collapses, the country will descend into a severe humanitarian crisis marked by hunger and sectarian violence.

Religious minority communities continue to be at risk as the Taliban has formed a hardline interim government that has virtually zero representation from the country’s diverse ethnic and religious make up. They have already signaled a return to brutal tactics and oppressive methods of government adhering their extremist version of Sharia law.

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