Pakistan working with ‘all groups to ensure Taliban live up to promises’



Pakistan is working with Afghans and extended “Troika” – which includes the United States, Russia, and China – to ensure that the Taliban live up to the promises and declarations about upholding human rights that they have made to the international community, said Ambassador Asad Majeed Khan.

In an interview with a Fox 5 News programme on Sunday, the Pakistan envoy to the US said that Pakistan is fully focused on helping in every possible way in the evacuation and repatriation of those who wish to leave Afghanistan.

Asked about the Taliban pledge to respect women’s rights, the Pakistani envoy said that the group has not conducted itself the way everyone feared, referring to the opening of schools and allowing female news anchors to come in public.

“So, I think, there is some room for optimism so far,” Ambassador Khan added.

He said that Pakistan, like all other international players, is watching what the Taliban do and how they do but the feedback they are getting is that, except the airport chaos, there are no incidents of violence from the rest of Kabul and Afghanistan.

Replying to a question, he said that Pakistan had suffered most from the conflict in Afghanistan, losing 80,000 Pakistani lives and incurring economic damages worth about $150 billion.

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Prime Minister Imran Khan, the envoy said, has been a consistent advocate for years that there is no military solution to the conflict and that the only way forward is through dialogue and engagement between all parties.

“That is precisely what we are trying to do, even as things develop and evolve so rapidly that they defied all assessments and surprised everybody and shocked everybody.”

To another question, Ambassador Khan said Pakistan has consistently maintained that Afghanistan territory should not be used against any country, including Pakistan and the United States, because ungoverned spaces provide safe havens to miscreants.

As regard the repatriation of those wishing to leave Afghanistan, he said that the Pakistani embassy is working round the clock and issuing visas. Until August 21, he said, Pakistan has repatriated 1,800 diplomats, foreign nationals and Afghans working for foreign missions and international agencies and that process is going on.

“I think in terms of what the international community should do, It’s very important that we all work together.”

(This story has been published from The Express Tribune feed, without modifications to the text)