Monday, August 15, 2022
KABUL: The Afghan foreign ministry has demanded the Indian government complete unfinished developmental projects in Afghanistan, Ariana News reported, as the country desperately seeks to stabilise the socio-economic situation.
In a statement issued last Saturday, the foreign ministry of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) also stressed that India start work on "vital projects" in the war-torn country.
The demand came after Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar last Friday said a delegation comprising diplomats — excluding the ambassador — had visited Afghanistan for addressing several problems, including development projects in the country and humanitarian assistance.
“We have taken a very considered deliberated view that our relationship at the end of the day is with the people of Afghanistan, to the society and that it is a relationship which is deep enough and in a sense, historically long enough for us to actually find ways of factoring in these political changes and continuing that people-to-people, so like a relationship,” the foreign minister told journalists.
In response to Jaishankar, the Afghan foreign minister said it welcomed India's decision to increase its diplomatic presence at the embassy in the capital of Kabul.
The foreign ministry, expressing hopes that its relations would boost with India, reiterated security assurances.
Taliban fighters chanted victory slogans next to the US embassy in Kabul this Monday as they marked the first anniversary of their return to power in Afghanistan following a turbulent year that saw women's rights crushed and a humanitarian crisis worsen.
Exactly a year ago, the group captured Kabul after a nationwide lightning offensive against government forces just as US-led troops were ending two decades of intervention in a conflict that cost tens of thousands of lives.
The chaotic withdrawal of foreign forces continued until August 31, with tens of thousands of people rushing to Kabul's airport hoping to be evacuated on any flight out of Afghanistan.
The situation has only gotten worse for Afghanistan since the Taliban's takeover as the country faces a severe economic crisis, while no country has recognised the government.
Development aid upon which the country relied so heavily has been cut as the international community demands that the Taliban respect the rights of Afghans, particularly girls and women whose access to work and education has been curtailed.
The Taliban is demanding that $9 billion in central bank reserves held overseas be returned, but talks with the United States face hurdles, including the US demands that a Taliban leader subject to sanctions step down from his position as second in command at the bank.
Roughly 25 million Afghans are now living in poverty — well over half the population and the United Nations estimates that up to 900,000 jobs could be lost this year as the economy stalls.
— Additional input from Reuters and AFP