Pakistan Seeks to Call for Preventing Economic Collapse in Afghanistan

September 20, 2021

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi arrived in New York on Monday for the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly, where Pakistan will join the United Nations in urging the world to prevent Afghanistan’s economic collapse.

In an interview with UN News, the UN Secretary General António Guterres stated, “The situation in Afghanistan is unpredictable.”

“We must stabilize Afghanistan,” said Pakistan’s UN envoy Munir Akram in an interview with Dawn. He stated that Pakistan would use this opportunity to call for the “prevention of an economic collapse” in Afghanistan.Those who want to play politics can do so. However, everyone is aware of the consequences of an economic collapse.According to him, the collapse could result in a humanitarian crisis, an influx of refugees, the resumption of conflicts and drug trafficking, and the intensification of terrorism.  All of that must be avoided.The UN Secretary-General, too, emphasized the consequences of mishandling the Afghan issue at this time. What happened in Afghanistan may have emboldened terrorist groups or other rebel movements to be more aggressive, he said. Mr. Guterres expanded on the topic, highlighting the issues he believes must be addressed in order to stabilize Afghanistan.

He stated that the United Nations had a responsibility to engage Afghanistan “based on what we can deliver, and what we can deliver is essential humanitarian aid.The UN, on the other hand, shouldengage in order to explain to the Taliban how important it is for them to have an inclusive government ofall ethnicities, and, of course, with women,” he said.In these difficult times, Ambassador Akram stated that Pakistan’s priorities at the 76th UNGA would be to promote its own economic and social development.Pakistan, he said, would emphasize its concerns about Indian-occupied Jammu and Kashmir, as well as the serious human rights violations that India was committing there.

Prime Minister Imran Khan will address the UNGA from Islamabad on Sept 24. The foreign minister will convene a meeting of the OIC contact group on Jammu and Kashmir to discuss the situation there. He will also participate in the meeting on the UN Security Council reforms and in other meetings on climate crisis and energy issues.The prime minister will participate, virtually, in a conference of 30 world leaders as well. The UN chief has called the meeting to discuss the climate conference in Glasgow later this year.

The foreign minister will also call on the UNGA president, the secretary general and EU and other world leaders.When asked if the international community was willing to help Afghanistan, Ambassador Akram pointed out that the secretary general requested $600 million at a UN conference last week, but $1.2 billion was pledged. That demonstrates the level of motivation.Pakistan is also seeking the unfreezing of Afghanistan’s reserves to avoid a humanitarian crisis as the economy will collapse without cash.

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