Pakistan urges world to ‘incentivise’ Taliban

Qureshi holds talks with visiting Spanish foreign minister; FO says no invitation for Afghan govt’s oath taking

Kamran Yousaf September 10, 2021


Pakistan on Friday urged the international community to incentivise the Afghan Taliban because the “approach of intimidation and coercion” had not worked.

“We have got to have new approach,” Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said, while speaking at a joint news conference with his Spanish counterpart, Jose Manuel Albares Bueno.

Bueno was the latest top diplomat to have visited Pakistan in recent days against the backdrop of unfolding situation in Afghanistan.

Since the Afghan Taliban announced an interim government, there have been questions whether the world would recognise the new setup. The US, the EU and other Western countries have refused to recognise the Taliban government, saying any such decision would be made based on the deeds and not words by the new interim setup.

Pakistan, however, is pressing the international community to stay engaged with the Taliban and calling for averting the economic collapse and humanitarian crisis in the war-torn country.

“International engagement as opposed to international isolation is the way forward,” Qureshi said, insisting that policy of intimidation and pressure had failed. “Incentivise the positive outcomes,” the foreign minister suggested.

“The Western countries have set certain benchmarks for the Taliban,” Qureshi pointed out, and one of the conditions was allowing safe passage for those who wanted to leave Afghanistan. He added the

Taliban did allow safe passage after international flight operation resumed in Afghanistan on Thursday.

However, he stressed that the Taliban needed to be encouraged to take more such steps. The foreign minister once again called for unfreezing the foreign assets of Afghanistan. “Freezing of Afghan funds is not helpful. Please revisit that decision,” he insisted.

Read More: Qureshi urges world to stay engaged, Raab firm UK won’t recognise Taliban rule

The Spanish foreign minister said that his country wanted to see a peaceful and stable Afghanistan. He said a donor conference would be taking place in Geneva on Monday to discuss the humanitarian needs of the people of Afghanistan.

He said that Spain had concerns about human and particularly the women rights in Afghanistan but insisted that his country was not imp

Meeting with PM

The Spanish foreign minister also called on Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday. During the meeting, Imran emphasised the need for prioritising the well-being of Afghan people, saying that urgent measures were required to ensure economic stability of the country.

Imran said that the changed reality in Afghanistan required a change in the world community’s outlook as well. He called for positive engagement of the international community to ensure the security situation in Afghanistan was stabilised, peace was preserved, and any mass exodus was precluded.

FO briefing

Meanwhile, Foreign Office spokesperson told a weekly news briefing that Pakistan had yet to receive a formal invitation from Afghanistan for the oath taking of interim government.

“We have also seen some media reports referring to the inauguration ceremony; however, we have not received any official intimation or invitation in that regard,” he said.

The bigger question and the need of the hour is continued and positive engagement by the international community for working towards a peaceful, stable and prosperous Afghanistan, and in the immediate term to avert a humanitarian crisis, he replied when asked whether Pakistan would recognise the Taliban government.

“That is what the foreign minister has been underlining during his various engagements with other countries as well as with the media,” the spokesperson further said.




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