Pakistan hopes Taliban-led Afghan government would bring 'peace'; work towards humanitarian needs



Taliban soldiers stand guard in Panjshir province northeastern of Afghanistan.

Pakistan on Friday hoped that the new interim government in Afghanistan led by the Taliban would bring “peace, security and stability” to the war-torn country and work towards taking care of humanitarian and development needs of the Afghan people.

Pakistan was closely following the evolving situation in Afghanistan, including the formation of new political set-up to address the requirement of a governance structure to meet the urgent needs of Afghanistan, Foreign Office spokesperson Asim Iftikhar Ahmed said at the weekly press briefing here.

“We hope that the new political dispensation will ensure coordinated efforts for peace, security and stability in Afghanistan as well as work towards taking care of humanitarian and development needs of the Afghan people,” he said.

Pakistan has an abiding interest in Afghanistan’s peace, he said.

“We also expect the international community would play its due role in helping address the urgent needs of the Afghan people in order to avert a humanitarian crisis,” he said.

Ahmed said that Pakistan was doing “proactive diplomacy” after the US military withdrawal from Afghanistan as its embassy was working there and it was trying to help ensure sustainable peace and stability in Afghanistan.

He said Prime Minister Imran Khan has spoken to 13 world leaders and Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has had 25 telephonic conversations with his counterparts since August 15, while foreign ministers of six countries have visited Islamabad.

He said while the responsible members of the international community were engaged in deliberating the best way forward for Afghanistan, it was “extremely deplorable that certain spoilers and detractors, the same known actors, remain busy in peddling false narratives and disinformation, which by the way already stood busted and discredited by various sources”.

Asked about attending the inauguration ceremony in Kabul, the FO spokesperson said: “We have not received any official intimation or invitation.”

To a question about women’s representation, he said the question should be posed to the Afghans as “there were and there are expectations by the world community with regards to the question of inclusion and women representation.

It is our understanding that the setup that has been announced is ‘interim’, so it remains to be seen what shape it would take in future.”

Meanwhile, Pakistan accused that the family of pro-Pakistan separatist Syed Ali Geelani was being harassed by India’s security forces.

Ahmed, at his weekly briefing, accused that India’s security institutions were targeting Geelani’s grieving family members by registering cases against them.

He said that Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi had addressed letters to the UN Secretary General and the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Ahmed said that Indian Charge d’ Affaires (Cd’A) was also summoned to the Foreign Office and conveyed a strong demarche on handling of the mortal remains of Geelani in violation of International Humanitarian Law.

He asked India to refrain from any missteps that might further jeopardise regional peace.

The Taliban has announced a hardline interim government led by Mullah Mohammad Hasan Akhund, chief of the Taliban’s powerful decision-making body ‘Rehbari Shura’.

He will be the Acting Prime Minister while Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar will be his deputy in the “new Islamic government”, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said at a news conference in Kabul.

The announcement of key figures in the caretaker government comes weeks after the Taliban seized control of war-torn Afghanistan, ousting the previous elected leadership which was backed by the West.

UN designated terrorist Sirajuddin Haqqani is also part of the interim Taliban government. Haqqani, a specially designated global terrorist and son of the famous anti-Soviet warlord Jalaluddin Haqqani who founded the Haqqani Network, is the new acting interior minister in the 33-member Cabinet that has no woman member.

Haqqani has been one of two deputy leaders of the Taliban since 2016 and has a USD 10 million US bounty on his head.

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