Hina Rabbani Khar
Hina Rabbani Khar

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

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