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IEA’s foreign minister calls for ‘neutral’ foreign relations



(Last Updated On: September 24, 2021)

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’s acting foreign minister Amir Khan Muttaqi has urged the international community to refrain from putting unnecessary pressure on the new Afghan government.

Speaking at an event on Thursday in Kabul, Mutaqi warned that if a country “pursues enmity with Afghanistan instead of friendship”, it will face the resistance of Afghans.

Muttaqi also called for the establishment of neutral political relations.

“Afghanistan is not the country it was 20 years ago, and the world should not try to put pressure on it.

“Afghanistan now has good relations with the rest of the world and the region and the pressure by some countries does not affect Afghanistan because it is not alone now,” said Muttaqi.

He also said strong economic ties between Afghanistan and the region would soon be established and that these would have a positive impact on the entire region.

At the same time, the foreign ministers of China and Pakistan, on the sidelines of the UN summit, called for the lifting of economic sanctions on the Afghan government.

In an interview with the Associated Press, the Pakistani foreign minister said that the world had no choice but to engage with the new Afghan government and recognize it.

“If they live up to those expectations, they would make it easier for themselves, they will get acceptability, which is required for recognition,” Shah Mahmood Hussein Qureshi told the AP.

“At the same time, the international community has to realise: What is the alternative? What are the options? This is the reality, and can they turn away from this reality?”

Qureshi said Pakistan “is in sync with the international community” in wanting to see a peaceful, stable Afghanistan with no space for terrorist elements to increase their foothold, and for the Islamic Emirate to ensure “that Afghan soil is never used again against any country”.

“But we are saying, be more realistic in your approach,” Qureshi said. “Try an innovative way of engaging with them. The way that they were being dealt with has not worked.”

But some other countries, including Germany, have opposed the presence of a representative of the Islamic Emirate at the UN summit. German foreign minister said the new Afghan officials needed to show in practice that they were complying with international law.

“Unfortunately, since August 15, life has become very difficult for everyone: financial situation, poverty, level of violence, level of poverty, level of fear, level of losses are increasing day by day. We are not the women of 2001, we are not the women of the 90s. If they [Islamic Emirate] really want to rule and lead in Afghanistan, they cannot rule without [the participation of] the 50 percent of Afghanistan, women,” said Zarifa Ghafari, a women’s rights activist.

This comes after the IEA asked to address world leaders at the United Nations in New York this week and nominated their Doha-based spokesman Suhail Shaheen as Afghanistan’s UN ambassador.

Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi made the request in a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday, Reuters reported

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UN Security Council scheduled to discuss Afghanistan



(Last Updated On: September 26, 2023)

The UN Security Council is holding a meeting on Afghanistan on Tuesday where Roza Otunbayeva, the UN Secretary General’s special representative for Afghanistan, will present her report on the situation in Afghanistan, especially that of women and girls.

Nasir Ahmad Faiq, head of Afghanistan’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations, as appointed by the former republic government, and UN Women Executive Director Sima Sami Bahous, will also present their information to the participants of the meeting.

Zabihullah Mujahid, the spokesman of the Islamic Emirate, says that Afghanistan has a legitimate people’s system, has ensured security and stability, and has the right to have a representative in the Security Council. He wants the council to reconsider Afghanistan and Afghanistan’s seat and hand it to the Islamic Emirate, lift sanctions and return Afghanistan’s frozen funds.

In his report three months ago, the UN Secretary General told the Security Council that the desire of the Islamic Emirate to be accepted by the international community requires them to take concrete steps to respect and promote human rights.

The Islamic Emirate says that it has not ignored the demands of the United Nations and that the IEA is trying to find a solution to solve the problems, but countries should not use the issue of women as a tool and should open diplomatic channels to directly discuss the differences.

Last week, at the 78th United Nations General Assembly, many world leaders and foreign ministers, including those from Islamic countries, called on the Islamic Emirate to immediately remove bans and restrictions on women’s work and girls’ education.

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Pakistan’s PM claims TTP ‘resides’ and has training camps in Afghanistan



(Last Updated On: September 26, 2023)

Pakistan’s Caretaker Prime Minister, Anwar ul Haq Kakar said this week that Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) does “reside on Afghan soil” and that they even have training camps in the country.

In an interview with TRT this week, he said: “We do raise such issues with them (the IEA), there are training camps over there, on their soil (Afghanistan) which is a point of concern for us.”

He added however that Islamabad was not entirely sure whether “it’s all intentional,” and questioned whether the TTP enjoys “the patronage of that government (IEA).” That remains to be seen, he said, adding that Islamabad does not want to complicate the “relationship (with Afghanistan) as far as our security operations are concerned.”

Kakar went on to say that Pakistan is looking “at that complex web and trying to draw the right conclusion and devise our security policy accordingly.”

He denied Pakistan’s direct involvement in having helped bring the IEA back into the political arena and said instead “the Taliban (IEA) was actually acknowledged by the United States and its allies as one of the important players in Afghanistan.”

He went on to say however that Pakistan did play a role “of encouragement” prior to August 2021, as it was of the view that the IEA was “an important player in Afghan society.”

He said negotiating with a group like the IEA, pre-August 2021, had been a global challenge, and that Pakistan had been a “participant” in the “big picture”.

Kakar stated that while Pakistan did give its input, there was nothing they did that he regrets. He also said that leading up to the collapse of the former government many “powers” and international groups had been in a “rush to leave” Afghanistan.

They are the ones that should have thought about a political settlement, about creating an environment where the various groups and parties in Afghanistan could have held negotiations. This did not happen, and the government at the time had not even been included in talks, he said.

This exit strategy had been planned by the rest of the world, not Pakistan, he said.

Kakar stated that Pakistan has lost a total of about 90,000 people to terrorism but stated Pakistan has been successful in fighting the scourge and will continue to fight it.

The IEA meanwhile has repeatedly rejected claims that the TTP operate out of Afghanistan. The Islamic Emirate has said on numerous occasions that no group will be allowed to threaten another country from Afghanistan.

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Afghanistan’s isolation is not the solution: Qatar



(Last Updated On: September 26, 2023)

Majed Al Ansari, an advisor to Qatar’s deputy prime minister, says Afghanistan’s isolation is not the solution and the world should rather engage with the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA).

Speaking in an interview with Al-Monitor, Ansari said that since the collapse of the previous government and IEA’s takeover, Qatar has told the world that Afghanistan’s isolation was not the solution and that the only way forward was engagement.

“Since the collapse of government in Afghanistan and the Taliban (IEA) forming the interim government over there, our main concern was that to tell the rest of the world that we have tried isolating the Taliban, we have tried waging a war on the Taliban, it has not changed [anything], it didn’t make the situation of women better in Afghanistan, it didn’t make the situation when it comes to radicalization better in Afghanistan, the only way forward is engagement,” said Ansari.

He stated that Afghanistan is important for Qatar and Doha mediates between Afghanistan and other countries.

“We fully understand that the situation in Afghanistan today is not easy for the international community to engage with the current government, but complete isolation is not the solution, it didn’t work, it will not work, it will push the government right now over there into the hands of other states which would not be very much interested in human rights and rights of women and children in Afghanistan; therefore, we have maintained our position as mediator,” he said.

He also said that many countries want to interact with the Islamic Emirate, but they do not want to interact for political reasons.

Meanwhile, IEA officials have repeatedly appreciated the government of Qatar for mediating to open the door of interaction with other countries.

“America does not allow some countries to act in this direction (recognition) and there are political interests between countries and America. Well, they don’t want to involve themselves diplomatically and face problems; this is the reason; otherwise, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan has fulfilled all the conditions to be recognized,” said Zabihullah Mujahid, a spokesman for the IEA.

Currently, the diplomatic missions of more than 14 countries of the region, including Qatar, are present in Afghanistan, and the Islamic Emirate has a reciprocal diplomatic presence in these countries.

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