Pakistan has assured the US that it would continue to assist America and other countries in recovering their hostages from Afghanistan, but only as “a moral duty” and not under coercion or incentives.
The statement was issued by the Pakistani Embassy in Washington after a report in US media urging US President Joe Biden’s administration to “pressurise or offer incentives” to Islamabad to secure the release of an American hostage, Mark Frerichs, who was captured by the Taliban, reported Dawn.
US Senator Tammy Duckworth, an Illinois Democrat, also urged the Biden administration to use “all the options” and get Frerichs, one of her constituents, back home.
Media reports said “pressuring Pakistan to act on a hostage case has succeeded in the recent past” and the Biden administration should also try this option to get Frerichs out of Afghanistan.
According to Dawn, one report recalled a 2017 case, claiming that during Trump regime, the White House “initiated secret efforts to cajole Pakistan” to get another hostage, Caitlin Coleman, out after five years. However, the Pakistan Embassy rejected the suggestion that Islamabad was forced to get Coleman and her children released.
This comes after reports emerged that Pakistan would allow the US to use its airbases for any action against Afghanistan as Washington has begun pulling out its troops amid high violence in Kabul.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has made it clear that the country would “absolutely not” permit any of its bases or use of its territory to the United States for any kind of action inside Afghanistan.
“Absolutely not. There is no way we are going to allow any bases, any sort of action from Pakistani territory into Afghanistan. Absolutely not,” the Prime Minister said in an interview given to Jonathan Swan of HBO Axios, Dawn reported.
This comes amid reports that the negotiations for the military bases in the region have reached an impasse, for now, The New York Times reported.
The Pentagon is now mulling to authorise airstrikes in Afghanistan if the country falls into crisis due to the rise in violence by the Taliban.