Pakistan NSA urges for constructive engagement with Taliban in Afghanistan

September 18, 2021

Taliban have also signalled intention to engage with the world, NSA Moeed Yusuf writes in The Independent

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Moeed Yusuf, Pakistan's National Security Adviser, speaks during a news conference in Islamabad, Pakistan September 15, 2021. Photo: Reuters

It is the collective responsibility of the international community not to create a humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, says National Security Adviser Moeed Yusuf.

In an article published in UK-based online newspaper The Independent, Yusuf stressed that "walking away from Afghanistan would be tantamount to giving up on the millions of Afghans that remain inside the country".

He said the Taliban have signalled their intention to work with the international community, which opens up space for the world to constructively engage with Afghanistan.

Pakistan supported the idea of a negotiated political settlement as the only way to end the war in Afghanistan responsibly, said Yusuf, adding that Pakistan was badly affected by the war in Afghanistan.

The NSA said Pakistan lost more than 80,000 lives [in the Afghanistan war] and bore more than $150 billion dollars in economic losses.

He went on to say that India made fake statements against Pakistan and used Afghan territory for terrorism against Pakistan.

Earlier this week, Yusuf warned against isolating Afghanistan as Western powers - while pledging immediate humanitarian aid - are largely holding off on any further financial assistance or formal recognition of the Taliban government while the US has frozen roughly $10 billion of Afghanistan central bank assets.

Many countries have said they are waiting to see whether the Taliban uphold human rights and stem militancy.

"It may be popular to talk about 'wait and see', but wait and see essentially means a collapse," Yusuf had said.

"Humanitarian assistance is...a stop-gap arrangement to ensure there is no immediately humanitarian crisis, that does not equate to governance, institutional and economic support which is needed by any country to survive in the conditions that you find (in) Afghanistan."

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