Sheikh Rashid says Taliban should be given time

Published September 17, 2021
In this file photo, Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid speaks to the media in Rawalpindi. — DawnNewsTV/File
In this file photo, Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid speaks to the media in Rawalpindi. — DawnNewsTV/File

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Interior Sheikh Rashid Ahmed has said the Taliban should be given time to form a government and run their country’s affairs.

During a meeting with United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi, who called on him here on Thursday, the minister said Pakistan wanted a lasting peace in conflict-ravaged Afghanistan.

Matters relating to evacuation from Afghanistan and humanitarian assistance for Afghan citizens were discussed during the meeting.

Mr Rashid said the Afghan citizens must not be left alone in the current situation, adding that food, medicines and other essential items would be provided to the Afghans on humanitarian grounds.

Senior UN official meets interior minister, army chief

He urged the international community to understand the ground realities in Afghanistan. He stressed the need for provision of financial and human resources for governance in Taliban-ruled Afghanistan.

The minister, while commenting on the situation in Afghanistan, expressed the fear of famine, instability and lawlessness in the country. He said trucks and planes loaded with food items and medicines had been sent to Afghanistan under humanitarian assistance.

On the occasion, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees lauded Pakistan’s role in the continuous care of over three million Afghan refugees.

Mr Grandi said the UN would not leave the Afghan citizens alone and help them in every possible way, adding that the United Nations had mobilised the world for providing funds and assistance to Afghanistan.

“The UN is grateful to the government of Pakistan for providing security and visa facilities to its staff,” he said.

APP adds: Later, Mr Grandi called on Chief of the Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa at the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi. During the meeting, he lauded Pakistan’s role in the prevailing Afghanistan situation.

He particularly appreciated Pakistan’s role in the Afghan situation, including provision of humanitarian aid and assistance, and pledged to play UNHCR’s role in further improvement in cooperation with Pakistan at all levels, said an Inter-Services Public Relations news release.

During the meeting, matters of mutual interest, regional security, current situation in Afghanistan and collaboration in humanitarian assistance were discussed.

Speaking on the occasion, the army chief reiterated the need for convergence of global efforts to avert humanitarian and refugee crisis in Afghanistan.

He also appreciated the role of UNHCR in promoting the United Nations’ core values and their response during crises.

The visiting dignitary acknowledged Pakistan’s effort for hosting four million Afghan refugees for over four decades.

Published in Dawn, September 17th, 2021

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