Friday Aug 06, 2021
Pakistan should help Afghanistan in "dismantling" the Taliban for peace to prosper in the war-torn country, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Afghanistan to the United Nations Ghulam M Isaczai said Friday.
The Afghan ambassador's comments came during an open meeting of the United Nations Security Council on the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan.
The discussion was requested by the Afghan government, as well as Norway and Estonia. The Security Council last met on Afghanistan in June, but the situation in the conflict-ridden country has rapidly worsened since then.
Peace talks between the Afghan government and Taliban negotiators started last year in the Qatari capital of Doha, but have not made any substantive progress.
Isaczai, who represented Foreign Minister Haneef Atmar in the meeting, said the Taliban had launched brutal attacks which had caused further instability in the country.
"It is our job to stop it."
In recent days, the Taliban and their affiliated groups have launched more than 5,000 attacks in 31 of the 34 provinces, Isaczai said, slamming the group for going against the Doha peace deal.
The ambassador said the group had gone against the peace deal by not cutting off ties with international terrorist organisations.
"And their ties cannot be broken off," he alleged.
"Those who indulge and participate with them also reap the benefits," he said, adding the Taliban were "linked to 20 foreign terrorist organisations".
The Taliban are in contact with Al-Qaeda, Daesh, and Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan's militant organisations, the Afghan representative told the UNSC meeting.
"We request Pakistan to dismantle Taliban infrastructure and pipelines," Isaczai said, noting that Taliban attacks are intensifying with every passing day.
Afghanistan's UN envoy Isaczai urged the Security Council to act to "prevent a catastrophic situation."
"We're alarmed by reports and incidents of gross human rights violation by the Taliban and their foreign terrorist associates in almost half of our country and we are extremely concerned about the safety and security of people in cities under Taliban attacks," he said.
Meanwhile, UN special envoy for Afghanistan, Deborah Lyons, told the Security Council the war in Afghanistan had entered a "new, deadlier, and more destructive phase" with more than 1,000 civilians killed in the past month during a Taliban offensive.
"A party that was genuinely committed to a negotiated settlement would not risk so many civilian casualties, because it would understand that the process of reconciliation will be more challenging the more blood is shed," Lyons said via video link from Kabul.
"The Security Council must issue an unambiguous statement that attacks against cities must stop now," Lyons told the 15-member council.
"This is now a different kind of war, reminiscent of Syria, recently, or Sarajevo, in the not-so-distant past," she said.
Deputy US Ambassador to the United Nations Richard Mills urged the Taliban to halt their offensive, pursue a political settlement and protect Afghanistan's infrastructure and people.
"The Taliban must hear from the international community that we will not accept a military takeover of Afghanistan or a return of the Taliban's Islamic Emirate," he said.
Last month, Prime Minister Imran Khan, during an appearance on PBS' "News Hour", an American news programme, had said: "I think the US has really messed it up in Afghanistan."
PM Imran Khan had said there is no military solution to the Afghan issue but the US kept trying to "look for a military solution in Afghanistan, when there never was one".
"And people like me who kept saying that there's no military solution, who know the history of Afghanistan, we were called anti-American. I was called Taliban Khan."
The premier said the Americans should have sought a political settlement with the Taliban at a time when they had a considerable military presence in Afghanistan.
But, now, after most of the US and allied forces have already withdrawn from the country, the Taliban, considering it their victory, are in no mood to reconcile, he said.
"But once they had reduced the troops to barely 10,000, and then, when they gave an exit date, the Taliban thought they had won. And so, therefore, it was very difficult for now to get them to compromise," he told programme host Judy Woodruff.
On July 28, PM Imran Khan, while answering questions by journalists from Afghanistan, said a political compromise between the Afghan government and the Taliban to form an inclusive government was the only solution to achieve peace.
“We do not have any favourites in Afghanistan. Our policy is that whoever the people of Afghanistan choose, Pakistan will have the best relationship with them,” the prime minister had said.
He had termed as unfortunate the recent statements from the Afghan government officials accusing Pakistan of supporting the Taliban.
“No country has ever tried harder than Pakistan to bring the Taliban to the dialogue table — first with the Americans and then with the Afghan government,” he said, and mentioned that the efforts were also acknowledged by US Special Representative Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad.