‘Very important to engage with Taliban’ says UN Chief

NEW YORK: The United Nation chief Antonio Guterres addressed the global community to engage with the Taliban and called it a “de-facto authority” after the collapse of the civilian government. The statement comes in light after almost a month of the Taliban take over.

“It is impossible to provide humanitarian assistance inside Afghanistan without engaging with the de facto authorities,”  explained Guterres on the sidelines of a donor conference,  adding to it that it was “very important to engage with the Taliban at the present moment”.

The UN convened a press conference on Monday, in Geneva to help with the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan. The conference seeks to raise more than $600 million to tackle the economic crisis in effect in the state. as shortage of food and cash seems to rise. The political upheaval, an abrupt end to foreign donations, and a drought in the country account for more than 18 million people depending on this aid.

While the Taliban claims its government to be ‘internally cohesive’ and developmental, the global community believes their appointments of the new government is a far cry from inclusivity.  It’s important to notice that the Taliban rule is especially regressive towards women, evident in their nominations of the caretaker government which has no woman in it. Pashtun nationalists and Shia minority too,  get no representation. Many had hoped that the Taliban government will be different from the Taliban insurgency but all in vain.

India with a joint statement with Australia this sunday , acknowledged the Taliban as a state actor for Afghanistan and said that it holds “positions of power and authority across Afghanistan”. India’s External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar maintained that India’s policy of standing with the people of Afghanistan, is and will always remain the same as it was in the past.

 “(The) Ministers also expressed deep concern about the situation in Afghanistan. Ministers called for the Taliban to guarantee safe passage for foreign nationals and Afghans wanting to leave the country…… They (the Ministers) noted reports of a rapid roll-back on women and girls’ rights and access to services and public spaces, as well as targeted violence against women’s rights defenders. In this regard, the Ministers reiterated their call for protection of rights of women and children and their full participation in public life,”

Joint statement by External affairs ministers of India and Australia reads, “(The) Ministers also expressed deep concern about the situation in Afghanistan. Ministers called for the Taliban to guarantee safe passage for foreign nationals and Afghans wanting to leave the country…… They (the Ministers) noted reports of a rapid roll-back on women and girls’ rights and access to services and public spaces, as well as targeted violence against women’s rights defenders. In this regard, the Ministers reiterated their call for protection of rights of women and children and their full participation in public life.”

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