Middle East/North Africa

Top Pakistani security official calls for engagement with Taliban


Pakistan’s National Security Adviser Moeed Yusuf on Wednesday said the world must engage with Afghanistan, warning that not doing so could lead to a repeat of the Taliban’s regime in the 90’s.

“If the world is not engaged with Afghanistan, for the sake of the average Afghan, then what we are really saying is: ‘We don’t care about a governance collapse, we don’t care about a humanitarian crisis, and we don’t care about a security vacuum,’” Yusuf said while appearing on CNBC’s “Capital Connection.”

“If that’s where we want to go, then we are repeating the mistakes of the 90s,” he said.

As CNBC noted, Pakistan has long been accused of silently aiding the Taliban in its militant efforts for the past 20 years; however, Yusuf called those accusations “preposterous.”

Yusuf said that Pakistan is not telling the international community whether it should support the Taliban, but instead is calling for it to engage with the new Afghan government once it is established in order to ensure that it is inclusive and moderate as it has claimed it will be.

“Afghans are not commodities. They are human beings,” said Yusuf. “Millions are refugees already. Rather than … talking about another refugee crisis, another security crisis, let’s ensure we prevent them.”

Since the fall of Kabul, the international community has largely refrained from recognizing the Taliban, cutting off Afghanistan’s access to global resources.

White House chief of staff Ron Klain said on Tuesday that he wasn’t sure if the U.S. would ever recognize the Taliban as Afghanistan’s government.

“What we know is that the Taliban says they’re going to form a government, we’ll see what that looks like, we’ll see what kind of credentials they present. More importantly, we’ll see what their conduct is. Do they honor their commitments to allow freedom of travel? Do they respect human rights?” Klain said.

“I think the question of recognizing a new government of Afghanistan is down the road here,” he added.

Tags Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan Pakistan Ron Klain Taliban Taliban offensive War in Afghanistan
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