Pakistan welcomes US meeting with Taliban officials

Published November 26, 2021
Foreign Office Spokesperson Asim Iftikhar Ahmad addresses a press conference in Islamabad in this file photo. — Photo via Radio Pakistan
Foreign Office Spokesperson Asim Iftikhar Ahmad addresses a press conference in Islamabad in this file photo. — Photo via Radio Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Thursday hailed US representatives’ upcoming meeting with the Taliban officials as a “welcome development” that would help address challenges faced by the war-torn country.

At the weekly media briefing, Foreign Office spokesman Asim Iftikhar said: “It would be a welcome development.”

Recalling Pakistan’s consistent advocacy for the world’s engagement with the Taliban, who took control of Afghanistan in August after the fall of the Ghani government, Mr Iftikhar said: “We have been saying, encouraging and advocating enhanced engagement of the international community with Afghanistan to help address its challenges.”

The US and Taliban officials are meeting in Doha next week.

US Special Representative for Afghanistan Tom West and Taliban Foreign Minister Mullah Amir Khan Muttaqi will lead their respective sides at the talks that would continue for two days. It would be the second meeting between the two sides since completion of the chaotic US withdrawal from Afghanistan. The two sides last met in Doha in October.

Spokesman for the Taliban foreign ministry Abdul Qahar Balkhi, according to Afghan media, said that Muttaqi’s delegation for the talks would include representatives of the education, health, finance, security and banking sectors of Afghanistan.

Mr West had, along with special representatives of China, Russia and Pakistan, met Muttaqi and other Taliban officials on the sidelines of extended troika meeting in Islamabad on Nov 11.

Balkhi said that Taliban officials would discuss political matters, frozen foreign reserves, humanitarian assistance, education, health and security of embassies in Kabul in their engagements in Doha. FO Spokesman Iftikhar emphasised the need for unfreezing of Afghan reserves by the US. “Pakistan and other countries have been saying that it needs to be considered as a way of supporting the Afghan people who are faced with immense challenges. That remains our expectation,” he said.

The economic crisis caused by Western sanctions on Taliban regime and freezing of Afghan assets has aggravated the humanitarian and financial crisis in Afghanistan.

Published in Dawn, November 26th, 2021

Opinion

Editorial

Covid funds controversy
Updated 01 Dec 2021

Covid funds controversy

A COMPREHENSIVE and detailed report by the auditor general of Pakistan on the utilisation of Covid-19 funds by the...
01 Dec 2021

Sindh LG law

THE Sindh Local Government Act, 2013, introduced by the PPP to roll back the Musharraf-era local bodies system in ...
Monster of circular debt
Updated 01 Dec 2021

Monster of circular debt

The crisis facing the energy sector cannot be tackled sustainably without taming the many elephants in the room.
New Covid danger
30 Nov 2021

New Covid danger

The government’s messaging around the coronavirus and the potential threat of Omicron must be reactivated.
Updated 30 Nov 2021

Saudi conditions

DECADES of fiscal profligacy have trapped the country in a situation where it not only has to borrow more money to...
30 Nov 2021

Mental health concerns

THE economic and psychological effects of Covid-19, combined with the issues of joblessness and inflation, have had ...