Speaking at the opening of an extraordinary meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Islamabad, Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said the worsening crisis could lead to a hard famine, new floods of refugees and a rise in extremism.
We cannot ignore the danger of a complete economic collapse, he warned in front of the representatives of the 57 countries of OIC, including his Taliban counterpart Amir Khan Muttaqi, as well as delegates from the United States, China, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations attending the meeting as observers.
The meeting is the first major conference on Afghanistan since the fall of the former US-backed government in August and the Taliban came to power.
Since then, billions of dollars in aid have been blocked by Western countries and the United States has frozen $ 9.5 billion in Afghan Central Bank assets as the country braces for a harsh winter.
The United Nations have repeatedly warned that Afghanistan is on the brink of one of the world’s worst humanitarian disasters and the World Food Program (WFP) has
famine avalanche future.
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan said he must distinguish between the Taliban and ordinary Afghans.
million Afghan citizens “,” text “:” I am speaking specifically to the United States to tell them that they must dissociate the government of Afghanistan from the 40 million Afghan citizens “}}”>I am speaking specifically to the United States to tell them that they must dissociate the government of Afghanistan from the 40 million Afghan citizens., did he declare.years. “,” text “:” And this even though they have been in conflict with the Taliban for 20 years. “}}”>And this even though they have been in conflict with the Taliban for 20 years.
He also called for not necessarily linking recognition of the Taliban authorities to Western human rights ideals.
Every country is different […] Every society’s idea of human rights is different, did he declare.
No country has yet formally recognized the Taliban government and diplomats will have the delicate task of helping the Afghan economy without supporting the Islamist regime.
On Sunday, virtually all delegates speaking at the opening of the meeting stressed the need to protect minority rights and allow women and girls to work and study.
In search of international recognition
While the Taliban have promised to follow a less hard line than that which characterized their first spell in power, from 1996 to 2001, women remain largely excluded from public employment and secondary schools for girls remain mostly closed.
While Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were the only three countries to have recognized the previous Taliban regime, the meeting of theOIC should not give the new government the international recognition it aspires to.
The Taliban government
has the right to be officially recognized, insisted before the press his Minister of Foreign Affairs.
The current Afghan government cooperates with all foreign organizations and
sanctions must be withdrawn, argued Mr. Muttaqi.
In his speech to delegates, he called the U.S. asset freeze a
violation of the human rights of Afghans, which can be interpreted as hostility towards the whole nation.
His Pakistani counterpart, Mr. Qureshi, asserted that theOIC would examine a six-point aid plan for Afghanistan that would involve the Taliban authorities to reduce pressure on the country.
This plan would include coordinating aid, increasing investment, helping to rebuild Afghan institutions and providing experts to manage the economy. Any pledges of help are expected to be announced on Sunday evening.
The meeting took place under high security, Islamabad being cordoned off and the place of the meeting surrounded by barbed wire fences, as well as roadblocks guarded by soldiers and police.