Former Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., told Newsmax that while the Taliban are a concern, Pakistan's support of the militant group should also be alarming given that the country is a U.S. ally.
"One of the things that's really not talked about much is the role that Pakistan has played in all of this," meaning the Taliban's takeover of neighboring Afghanistan, Santorum said Wednesday on "Eric Bolling: The Balance."
"They have harbored the Taliban," Santorum continued. "They have supported the Taliban. And ... everyone says, 'well, you know, the Afghan army should have been able to fight back.' I mean, the Taliban's a ragtag group ... heavily supported by our quote ally Pakistan.''
After the 2001 U.S. invasion of Afghanistan, some Pakistanis "sympathized with the Islamists' [that is, the Taliban's] extreme ideology, while others deemed it an indispensable asset to counter India," the Financial Times reported. "Taliban leaders have lived and done business in Pakistan, and wounded fighters have been treated in its hospitals. The Haqqani Network, an affiliate of the Taliban, has a 'close relationship' with the [Inter-Services Intelligence], according to a recent report from the US Institute of Peace."
The Inter-Services Intelligence, or ISI, is Pakistan's intelligence service, which is responsible for managing and coordinating military intelligence for Pakistan's armed forces.
According to a post from the State Department issued on Jan. 20, 2021, the United States still works with Pakistan "on a wide array of issues ranging from Afghanistan stabilization efforts to counterterrorism to energy to trade and investment."
After the Taliban seized Kabul, Afghanistan's capital, on Sunday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke with Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Monday about the developing situation in Afghanistan.
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