SCO Representatives Talk about Abandoning Afghanistan

September 17, 2021

Several regional leaders attending the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit on Thursday emphasized the importance of an inclusive government in Afghanistan, agreeing with Pakistan that the war-torn country should not be abandoned following the Taliban takeover. On the first day of his two-day visit to Dushanbe, Tajikistan, PM Imran Khan met the presidents of Belarus, Uzbekistan, Iran, and Kazakhstan on the sidelines of the SCO summit.

The focus of discussions between Mr. Khan and the regional leaders, was the situation in Afghanistan. The prime minister is accompanied on the visit by the minister of information. “All regional leaders agree that if a stable government is to be established in Afghanistan, the country should not be abandoned.” It should be quite interesting. At this critical juncture, Afghans should not be left alone. Efforts should be made to maintain an inclusive government in that country, according to Mr. Chaudhry.

He emphasized, “There is a consensus on these issues” and adding that Afghanistan’s neighbors were all working to bring stability to the country. Mr. Khan warned the leaders he met on the sidelines of the summit that if Afghanistan is not stabilized, the entire region will be destabilized. The SCO summit’s plenary session will take place on Friday (today). The evolving situation in Afghanistan would be a major focus of the summit. The participating leaders are expected to demand the formation of an inclusive government in Afghanistan, ask the Taliban to keep their country from becoming a terrorist safe haven, and discuss strategies for dealing with a potential humanitarian crisis there. While the SCO leaders recognize that Afghanistan should not be abandoned, the Taliban government is unlikely to gain recognition from the region during the summit.

Afghanistan has observer status at the SCO, but it has not been invited to the summit because the bloc’s members do not recognize the country’s new government. In an interview with TASS, Russian Special Presidential Envoy for SCO Affairs Bakhtiyer Khakimov stated, “At this stage, all member states have an understanding that there are no reasons for an invitation until there is a legitimate, widely recognized government in Afghanistan.”

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