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‘New, civilised Afghan Taliban’ prefer talks to guns: Pakistan interior minister

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(Last Updated On: July 12, 2021)

Pakistan’s Federal Minister for Interior Sheikh Rashid Ahmed told reporters on Sunday that a “new, civilised Afghan Taliban” would prefer talks to guns.

He also said Islamabad would accept any government in Afghanistan that has the backing of the Afghan people, Dawn News reported.

According to him, all stakeholders in Afghanistan should come to the negotiating tables to find a political settlement so as to ensure the country does not plunge into yet another civil war.

“The dialogue with Taliban will be in the interest of all. We will support peace in neighboring country Afghanistan,” he said.

Rashid told reporters that Pakistan wants peace in the region. “If China wanted to invest 400 billion dollars in Iran, it will not be possible without peace in Afghanistan. The train we want to bring to Uzbekistan is not possible without stability in Afghanistan. China, Russia, Iran, Pakistan are in a changed region,” he said.

Rashid also said the fencing of the Durand Line between Afghanistan and Pakistan had put Pakistan in a better position than in the past.

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Hanafi appeals for cooperation, assures the world the IEA is a ‘responsible govt’

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(Last Updated On: October 20, 2021)

Deputy Prime Minister Abdul Salam Hanafi said on Wednesday at the high-level meeting in Moscow on Afghanistan that the new Islamic Emirate (IEA) leaders assure the world that no security threat will be posed to them from within Afghanistan.

Addressing delegates at the summit, Hanafi said the new administration was a “responsible government “.

“We assure [the world and the region] that the security situation in Afghanistan is reliable and there is no threat to countries near and far.”

He stated Afghans now have a responsible government, which is committed to national interests, and to safeguarding the country’s political freedom.

“The current government also assures the international community that, as a responsible government, it fully understands all its national and international responsibilities,” he said.

Hanafi went on to say that the IEA leadership has tried to incorporate all ethnic groups and sections of Afghan society into the new Islamic government.

“We must remember that the recent development was a revolutionary one. But we assure our people that the process of reforming the country’s political structure continues.

“It should not be forgotten that the reform process in political systems is time consuming. But there is serious determination in our leadership that the new government will provide standard and fast services to our people,” he said.

Raising the issue of rampant corruption under the previous regime, Hanafi said this problem was prevalent in all sectors of the political structure and that despite repeated promises by former leaders to fight the scourge, nothing was done.

“You all wintessed that the people of Afghanistan have suffered greatly from widespread corruption over the past twenty years.

“Unfortunately, corruption in the previous regime covered all parts of the political structure, and despite beautiful promises at international forums, until the last moment of the previous regime, no progress was made in the fight against corruption, and the leaders of the previous regime missed every opportunity and used the pursuit of national wealth [for their own benefit].

“We inherited a government that owed money to its neighbors. One which had not even paid its employees their salaries for months.

“The new Islamic government proved in a short period of time that it is very serious about the fight against corruption and good governance, and that there will not be the slightest tolerance for corruption.

“We understand that our people have suffered from the wars imposed by foreigners, the imposition of foreign political structures, and widespread corruption. It is the responsibility of our government to provide good services to our people like any other nation in the world,” he said.

He also said it was the first time in over 40 years that a government in power was able to rule the entire country.

“Afghanistan now has a political structure with a clear hierarchy, a unified command. We no longer have anything called islands of power in Afghanistan.”

He said all the pillars of government were now in place and called on the international community to recognize the IEA as the legitimate government and to release Afghanistan’s frozen assets.

He stated that isolating Afghanistan was not in the interests of the rest of the world

“For the first time, our people have a (proper) government, they hope the international community has formal interactions with their government,” he said.

Hanafi told delegates the new government is ready to address all the international community’s concerns openly, honestly and transparently.

“I would like to remind you that the people of Afghanistan have no will to harm any country or nation in the world. As a civilized nation with a strong religion, culture and human values, we want to live in a peaceful environment. We want relations with neighboring countries, the region and the world that are based on the principle of respect for national sovereignty and mutual respect.

“With this platform, we once again call on the United States of America to unfreeze the reserves of the Central Bank of Afghanistan. This is, in fact, the wealth of the Afghan people, and our suffering people should not pay the price for political differences,” he said.

“I want to make it clear that the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan has proven in the past that in order to preserve freedom, national and religious values and the supreme interests of the country, no deal will be made under pressure that is not acceptable to our people. The pressure option has been proven (to be a failure) in the past.

“It is good to interact through understanding. The Islamic Emirate, as a legitimate government, is responsible for preparing for any civilized interaction with the rest of the world,” he stated.

Hanafi meanwhile met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Moscow on the sidelines of the meeting.

During the meeting, the two sides discussed in detail relations between the two countries, stability in the region and a better future for Afghanistan, MoFA spokesman Abdul Qahar Balkhi tweeted.

China meanwhile came out in support of the Afghan delegation’s participation at the Moscow summit and called on delegates to cooperate with the Afghan people in rebuilding the country.

“They say we can make our region safer and more stable,” Chinese delegates said.

China said it is cooperating with the new government and that it will not interfere in Afghanistan’s internal affairs but will continue constructive relations with Kabul.

“The international community must not ignore the progress made over the past two months,” China stated.

Eleven countries gathered in Moscow Wednesday to discuss the way forward with Afghanistan which is facing a looming humanitarian crisis as the international community continues to refuse to acknowledge the IEA as a legitimate government.

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Russia recognizes IEA’s ‘efforts’ to stabilize Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: October 20, 2021)

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has acknowledged the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’s (IEA) efforts to stabilize Afghanistan after the delegation arrived in Moscow on Wednesday for talks.

Lavrov added that the Kremlin is “satisfied with the level of interaction with the new Afghan authorities”, while pointing the finger at Daesh (ISIS-K) and al-Qaeda for trying to take advantage of instability in Afghanistan, RT reported.

Russians meanwhile said earlier that they’re not going to recognize the IEA government until they are able to prove their commitments to the world, Anil Trigunayat, a former Russian diplomat, told Times Now on Wednesday.

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Khalilzad: Afghanistan is facing ‘great challenges ahead’

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(Last Updated On: October 20, 2021)

Zalmay Khalilzad said a day after his resignation as the US State Department’s special envoy for the Afghan reconciliation process that the country was facing major challenges

“US forces are out and the war for the United States is over, but this is not the final chapter,” he said in a series of tweets.

Khalilzad also said he remained committed to peace in Afghanistan and the region.

“I am committed to the possibility of peace and prosperity in Afghanistan and in the wider region. This is what Afghans have yearned for more than 40 years. The United States stands with them,” Khalilzad added.

The Afghan-American diplomat said in the tweets that the United States, the international community and Afghan leaders would stay in touch and he welcomed Thomas West’s appointment as his successor.

He also thanked the US State Department, Defense and intelligence officials “who joined me on this mission “.

Khalilzad’s resignation came two months after the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) took control of Kabul.

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