BERLIN: Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar has called for an easing of Western sanctions against Afghanistan under the Taliban government, saying the basic functioning of Afghan economy must not be endangered.
The Taliban takeover last year prompted foreign governments, led by the United States, to cut development and security aid, and the strict enforcement of sanctions has debilitated the country’s banking sector.
In an interview with Germany’s Die Welt newspaper published on Thursday, Ms Khar said isolating Afghanistan economically was pushing the country into economic collapse.
“If the country remains locked out of international banking and its foreign assets remain frozen, then that is what will happen. We must not promote famine,” she added.
The minister said the Western troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, in which Germany was also invol-ved, had serious repercussions because it was not preceded by a negotiated solution, calling on Germany to play an active political role in easing sanctions.
“In the current situation, it is not a good idea to continue to starve Afghanistan and risk an economic implosion in the country,” she said, adding that economic support was necessary to help the Afghan people.
“How is it that we spent $3 trillion on the war, but today don’t even have $10 billion on Afghan survival? I don’t understand this behaviour,” she added.
Published in Dawn, July 1st, 2022