Imran Khan Stresses for Global Support for New Afghan Government

September 25, 2021

Prime Minister Imran Khan made a strong case for the international community to rally behind Afghanistan’s nascent Taliban government in order to preserve the country’s progress over the past two decades and prevent it from becoming a safe haven for terrorists.

Premier Khan said via video link at the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly, “There is only one way to go.” For the sake of the Afghan people, we must strengthen and stabilize the current government.”

He warned that deviating from this path would further destabilize the war-torn country and turn it into a haven for terrorists.

Pakistan has consistently called for recognition of the new Taliban government, assistance in averting the looming humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, and the resumption of development aid for the new administration to avoid the country’s impending economic collapse since the Taliban took control of Kabul. For the past few weeks, this has dominated Pakistan’s foreign policy agenda. The majority of Western countries have expressed interest in negotiating with the Taliban and have pledged humanitarian assistance. However, they have been hesitant to formally recognize the group as Afghanistan’s government in office and provide development assistance, which has traditionally funded the functioning of state institutions.

Fears about human rights under the Taliban regime, particularly for women; a lack of representation of other ethnicities, religious minorities, and women in government; and concerns about the resurgence of terrorist groups in Afghanistan that could threaten other countries have all contributed to this hesitancy.Mr. Khan, on the other hand, attempted to dispel preconceptions about the Taliban, claiming that they had promised to respect human rights, establish an inclusive government, and prevent terrorist groups from operating on their soil. The Taliban had already declared amnesty for their opponents, he recalled.

As a result, the prime minister urged the international community to encourage the Taliban to “walk this talk.”

It would be a win-win situation for everyone if this happened, he said.

“If the world can persuade them to go in this direction, then the coalition forces’ 20-year presence in Afghanistan will not have been in vain. Because international terrorists would not be able to use Afghan soil,” he said, noting that Afghanistan was at acritical juncture.

Prime Minister Khan urged the international community to act quickly to prevent a conflict between India and Pakistan by resolving the long-standing Kashmir dispute.

“India’s military build-up, advanced nuclear weapons development, and acquisition of destabilizing conventional capabilities can erode mutual deterrence between the two countries,” he said, citing the rise of Hindu extremism in India as a threat to the country’s Muslim population and other religious minorities.

Mr. Khan reiterated Pakistan’s desire for peace with India, noting that the 2003 ceasefire agreement on the Line of Control was renewed earlier this year in the hopes of forcing a “strategic rethink” in Delhi. Provocative Indian actions in occupied Kashmir, as well as human rights violations there, aggravated the situation.The prime minister emphasized that India must create a conducive environment for “meaningful and result-oriented” engagement by reversing unilateral and illegal actions taken since August 5, 2019, ending oppression and human rights violations against Kashmiris, and halting and reversing demographic changes in the occupied territory.

He referred to the deteriorating human rights situation in occupied Kashmir, where Indian authorities have used arbitrary detentions, extrajudicial killings, and enforced disappearances, in addition to depriving the people of the disputed region of basic freedoms.

The prime minister also called for a comprehensive strategy to address the triple challenges of Covid-19, the accompanying economic crisis, and the threats posed by climate change, calling for vaccine equity to be ensured, adequate financing to be provided to developing countries, and clear investment strategies to help alleviate poverty and promote job creation. He urged the Secretary-General of the United Nations to convene a summit in 2025 to review and accelerate the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

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