Since the fall of Kabul, Pakistan has been quietly engaging with key international and regional stakeholders with a message that Afghanistan should not be left alone and the incoming government there, likely to be led by the Afghan Taliban, should be given a chance, Express Tribune reported.
Officials familiar with the development told The Express Tribune that there is a considered view among the policymakers in Pakistan that the international community must not prejudge the Taliban.
This was the message Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi carried during the recent four-nation visit that took him to Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Iran. He is likely to undertake more visits to the countries, having stakes in Afghanistan’s future.
Qureshi confirmed in a statement that Pakistan is in touch with the Afghan Taliban leadership for the way forward. He said the Taliban are giving positive signals.
“If they [Taliban] are giving positive signals, the world must encourage them,” Qureshi said, as per the report. He also urged the international community to avoid any repeat of past mistakes and not leave Afghanistan alone.
“If Afghanistan is left alone, that would be a disaster for everyone,” he said, stressing the need for remaining engaged with a country that has been at war for the last four decades.
Recently, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan also sought the world’s support for the Afghan Taliban. He said that the Taliban are doing exactly what the world has been asking for.
Khan added that the Taliban has promised to respect human and women’s rights, agreed to an inclusive government, and not to let Afghan soil be used again by terrorists, the report said.
Khan’s key cabinet member, Asad Umar, expressed similar views, seeking international financial assistance for an imminent Taliban government.
“The world must not repeat the mistake it made after the Soviet withdrawal. This is the time for the global community to engage and not isolate Afghanistan. A fraction of the money spent on the war in Afghanistan, spent honestly on development can enhance global security,” he tweeted.
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