Foreign Office Spokesperson Asim Iftikhar on Thursday said the United States announcing that it will reassess its relationship with Pakistan is ‘surprising’ as Islamabad has played a positive role in the Afghan peace process. “US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken’s remarks earlier this week, in which he had said the United States would be reassessing its relationship with Pakistan, are not in line with the close cooperation between the two countries,” the spokesperson said during a weekly press briefing here. Terming Blinken’s statement a ‘surprise’, the spokesperson noted that Pakistan’s positive role in the Afghan peace process, facilitation of the multinational evacuation effort from the war-torn country, and continued support for an inclusive political settlement had been ‘duly acknowledged’, including by the US State Department. He said Pakistan has played a critical role in helping the United States degrade Al Qaeda’s core leadership in Afghanistan, which was the international coalition’s core objective. At the same time, Pakistan had always maintained that there was no military solution to the larger Afghan conflict and that a political settlement offered the only plausible pathway to sustainable peace in Afghanistan – a position now shared by the United States, he noted. He said achieving an inclusive political settlement in Afghanistan that represented Afghanistan’s diversity and reflected the gains made by the country remained a shared objective for Pakistan and the United States. “We look forward to building on this convergence while also strengthening other aspects of a broad-based and constructive relationship,” he added. The spokesperson said there is no pressure on Pakistan to recognise or not to recognise the Taliban government, and that Islamabad does not take any pressures. “We will take independent decisions in line with our interests,” he asserted. Meanwhile, the foreign ministers of Russia, China, Pakistan and Iran on Thursday exchanged views on the latest developments in Afghanistan and peace and security situation in the region. Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, China’s Wang Yi, Pakistan’s Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Iran’s Hussain Amir Abdollahian were meeting at the sidelines of the heads of state summit meeting of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO). The participants of the meeting expressed determination for promoting peace, security and stability in Afghanistan and the region. The ministers emphasized on national reconciliation and called for inclusive government in Afghanistan so that it should take care of the interests of all ethnic and political forces. During the meeting, they emphasized for collective efforts for countering threats to Afghanistan especially the danger of spread of terrorism and drugs trafficking.