Pakistan urges you to not isolate the Taliban

Be realistic. Be patient. Engage. Don't isolate. These are the pillars for a Pakistani approach to dealing with Afghanistan's fledgling Taliban government.

Pakistan urges you to not isolate the Taliban

Be realistic. Be patient. Engage. Don't isolate. These are the pillars for a Pakistani approach to dealing with Afghanistan's fledgling Taliban government.

TheEditor
TheEditor
23 September 2021 Thursday 16:19
1050 Reads
Pakistan urges you to not isolate the Taliban

The government of Pakistan proposes that the international community create a road map leading to diplomatic recognition for the Taliban. They will offer incentives to fulfill their requirements. After that, they will meet face-to-face with the leaders of the militia to discuss the matter.

The idea was presented Wednesday by Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Pakistan's Foreign Minister. He spoke to The Associated Press during a sideline interview at the U.N. General Assembly meeting of world leaders.

Qureshi stated to the AP that if they meet those expectations, it would be easier for them to get recognition. "At the exact same time, the international community must realize: What's your alternative? What options are available? What are their options?

He stated that Pakistan is in agreement with the international community in wanting to see peaceful and stable Afghanistan. There will be no room for terrorist elements to expand their foothold. The Taliban must ensure that "Afghan soil is not used again against any other country."

Qureshi stated, "But we are saying that you need to be more realistic in your approach." Try a new way to engage with them. They are not being treated the right way.

Qureshi stated that the Taliban leadership might be expected to provide assurances regarding human rights and an inclusive government. Qureshi said that the Afghan government could be motivated to receive development, economic, and reconstruction aid in order to recover from decades of war.

He called on the United States, the International Monetary Fund, and other countries that have frozen Afghan funds to immediately release it so that it can be used to "promote normalcy" in Afghanistan. And he said that Pakistan is willing to play a constructive, positive role in opening communication channels with the Taliban, as it too benefits from peace, stability, and security.

The Taliban, who follow a strict Islamic version, are now ruling Afghanistan for the second time. They were overthrown by a U.S. coalition following the 9/11 attacks.

Taliban leaders and the police banned girls from school, and they prohibited women from leaving their home without an escort. Afghan women faced many challenges after their overthrow, but they rose to power in government and other fields.

The U.S. pulled its troops out of Afghanistan last month. But the government was destroyed and a new generation took over. Many countries expressed dismay that the Taliban's interim government was not as inclusive as its spokesperson claimed.

The new government allows young girls to go to school but not older girls. Most women cannot return to work, despite an April promise that women could "serve their society in education, business and social fields while still wearing correct Islamic hijab."

Pakistan shares a long border area with Afghanistan. It has had a long, sometimes bitter relationship with this neighbor. This includes efforts to stop terrorism in Afghanistan and some even encourage it. The Islamabad government has an innate interest in ensuring Pakistan is safe from any threat posed by Afghanistan's new status.

Qureshi asserts that this requires a measured and steady approach.

The minister of Pakistan said that it was important to have a realistic assessment and a pragmatic perspective on both sides. This will help set the tone for eventual recognition. He said that the good news is that the Taliban are listening and are sensitive to the views of their neighbors and international colleagues.

How does he know that they are listening? According to him, the interim government, which is mainly made up of Afghan Pashtuns, made some changes on Tuesday. It also included representatives of the country's ethnic minority -- Tajiks and Uzbeks, who are Shiite Muslims living in the majority Sunni Muslim nation.

Qureshi stated, "Yes, there aren't women yet." "But let's let the situation evolve."

He stated that the Taliban should make decisions in the coming days and week that will increase their acceptance.

Qureshi stated that the only thing the international community could do is to come together and create a roadmap. If they meet those expectations, then this is what the international world can do to stabilize their economy. This is how humanitarian assistance can be provided. This is how they can rebuild Afghanistan and reconstruct the country.

He said: "With this roadmap in place, I believe an international engagement could be more productive."

After a meeting with the five permanent members to the U.N. Security Council, Antonio Guterres, U.N. Secretary General, stated Wednesday night that all five countries -- France, China, Britain and Russia -- wanted "a stable Afghanistan where humanitarian aid can flow freely without discrimination or problems."

He also spoke of a "hopeful Afghanistan where women's rights are respected, Afghanistan that isn't a refuge for terrorists, Afghanistan where there is an inclusive government that represents all segments of the population."

Qureshi stated that there are many forums where the international community can find the best solution to the problem. He stated that things are stabilizing in the interim. He stated that Pakistan had received information from Pakistan that the law-and order situation has improved, fighting has stopped, and that many internally displaced Afghans have returned home less than six weeks since the Taliban took power on August 15.

Qureshi stated, "That's positive."

He stated that Pakistan has not seen an influx of Afghan refugees. This is a sensitive topic for Pakistanis who are keen to stop it. The emergence of a humanitarian crisis, a failing economy, and workers returning to work but not receiving salaries or having enough money could lead to Afghans fleeing across the porous border to Pakistan. Pakistan has been economically devastated by such arrivals for decades.

Qureshi advised patience and realisticism. Qureshi said that every attempt to stabilize Afghanistan in the past has failed. So don't expect any new attempts to achieve immediate success with Taliban. He wondered how the United States and its allies could convince or eliminate the Taliban in 20 years.

When Qureshi was asked if he could predict what Afghanistan would look like in six months' time, Qureshi turned it back to his AP interviewer and replied: "Can I guarantee you U.S. behavior for the next six month?"

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