Taliban regime won't 'interfere' in other countries' affairs: Afghan PM

Published November 28, 2021
A file photo of Afghanistan Prime Minister Mullah Mohammad Hassan Akhund. — Afghanistan Information Ministry/File
A file photo of Afghanistan Prime Minister Mullah Mohammad Hassan Akhund. — Afghanistan Information Ministry/File

The Taliban co-founder and now prime minister of Afghanistan, Mullah Mohammad Hassan Akhund, pledged on Saturday that his government will “not interfere” in other countries' internal affairs and urged international charities to continue offering aid to the war-ravaged country.

Hassan's audio speech broadcast on state television — his first address to the nation since the Taliban seized power in August — came ahead of next week's meeting between the US and the Taliban in Doha.

“We assure all the countries that we will not interfere in their internal affairs and we want to have good economic relations with them,” said Hassan in a nearly 30-minute speech that came amid criticism on social media for remaining silent since the Taliban took power, even as the nation faced severe challenges.

The Taliban seized power on August 15 after ousting the previous US-backed government, as Washington hurriedly withdrew its troops from the country after a 20-year war.

The Taliban's previous regime was toppled in a US-led invasion after the 9/11 attacks in the US that were carried out by Al Qaeda, whose now-killed founder Osama bin Laden lived in Afghanistan at that time.

Hassan is a Taliban veteran who was a close associate and political adviser to Mullah Omar, the founder of the movement and its first supreme leader.

Said to be in his 60s, Hassan served as the foreign minister and deputy prime minister in the movement's previous regime between 1996-2001.

He was placed on a UN Security Council sanctions list connected to the “acts and activities” of the Taliban.

Hassan's government faces a series of challenges, in particular reviving the country's dilapidated economy that has been dried of international aid, which used to make up 75 per cent of the national budget under the previous US-backed governments.

“We ask all the international charity organisations to not withhold their aid and to help our exhausted nation... so that the problems of the people could be solved,” Hassan said in his speech.

Inflation and unemployment have surged in Afghanistan, while the country's banking sector has collapsed since the Taliban takeover.

The financial crunch was aggravated after Washington froze about $10 billion of assets held in its reserve for Kabul and deteriorated further after the World Bank and International Monetary Fund halted Afghanistan's access to funding.

The UNs' aid agencies have warned that a major humanitarian crisis is unfolding in Afghanistan, with more than half of the country's 38 million population expected to face hunger this winter.

The rapidly worsening situation has forced Afghans to sell their household goods to raise money for food and other essentials, with the local currency crashing and prices skyrocketing.



24 Jan, 2022

Anti-extremism policy

HAD there been more far-sighted policymaking on the part of the state and an understanding of how religious ...
Government’s silence
Updated 24 Jan, 2022

Government’s silence

A MAJOR trial is underway in London during which Pakistan has repeatedly been mentioned as the place where payment...
24 Jan, 2022

Cutting mangroves

FOR Karachi, the mangrove cover along its coastline is a thin line of defence against potential oceanic and climatic...
Yemen atrocity
Updated 23 Jan, 2022

Yemen atrocity

The sooner this war is ended, the better, to halt the suffering of Yemen's people and ensure security of all regional states.
23 Jan, 2022

Regressive taxation

THE FBR appears to have kicked up a new and unnecessary controversy by serving notices on currency dealers to ...
23 Jan, 2022

Medico-legal flaws

ON Friday, a 13-page verdict authored by Justice Ali Zia Bajwa of the Lahore High Court revealed a shocking fact...