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‘They failed to deliver’ — Afghan embassies call for Taliban travel ban year after Kabul takeover

In a statement, nearly all Afghan diplomatic missions across the world said Taliban not only 'failed' in their commitments but also brought back ‘draconian policies and directives’.

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New Delhi: Afghan diplomatic missions around the world have called for reimposing the travel ban on the Taliban leadership by United Nations, a year after the Taliban’s takeover of Kabul.

Nearly every Afghan embassy has said that the Taliban have “failed” to deliver in the past year. 

In a statement issued to the Taliban interim government in Kabul, the Afghan missions have stated they will continue to follow the erstwhile ‘Republic’ and use the tricolour flag, while blaming the Taliban for bringing back “draconian policies and directives”. 

“Reinforce the UN travel ban for concerned Taliban leaders, as the group has continuously misused travel-ban exemptions by refusing to engage in any meaningful dialogue for a political settlement, as well as to enlist new individuals in the sanctions regime for violating the rights of the people of Afghanistan,” stated the letter signed by all leading Afghan diplomatic missions.

The travel ban on Taliban leaders was waived by former US President Donald Trump because they needed to travel to Doha and other places to negotiate a peace deal signed in February 2020.

Even after coming back to power in Afghanistan on 15 August 2021, the Taliban leaders continued to travel extensively, attending international conferences. 

On 20 August, the United Nations Security Council will consider whether to extend the waiver.

Diplomatic missions, however, have urged the international community to engage the Taliban in dialogue in order to “exert pressure on the group to respond to the demands of the people for a political process leading to inclusive and legitimate governance”. 

“Afghanistan’s future will have to include the Taliban, but not be determined and dominated by them,” they said.

The statement also noted that the Taliban have “rejected consistent national and international appeals for the creation of an inclusive and representative government, which is critical for political stability and strengthening national trust in the country”.

Almost all embassies of Afghanistan, including the one in New Delhi, continue to operate under the banner of the former Republic even as they engage with the Taliban’s acting government in Kabul to carry out humanitarian assistance and meet the demands of their vast diaspora.


 Also read: India can engage the Taliban in a constructive way, says Afghan envoy to India Mamundzay  


‘Taliban hosting foreign terrorist groups’

The Afghan diplomatic missions also said that the Taliban, while failing to deliver on their promises, has also contributed to “threatening the security and stability of Afghanistan, the region, and the wider world”. 

Referring to the killing of al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri on 31 July, the Afghan diplomats said: “Several known international and regional terrorist and extremist groups have found a reinvigorated presence in Afghanistan. The killing of Ayman Al-Zawahiri, leader of Al-Qaeda in Kabul, affirmed that the Taliban are hosting and sheltering a coterie of foreign terrorist groups.”

“We believe that given the Taliban’s unwillingness and inability to deliver on their expressed commitments, and the deteriorating security, humanitarian, economic, human rights, political, and social situation in Afghanistan, the international community should adopt a new and adjusted approach,” they said in the statement. 

The missions also mentioned incidents of arbitrary detentions, including jailing women activists, forced disappearances and displacements, collective punishment — including those given to minority groups — media crackdowns, extrajudicial killings, and torture, including that meted out to former members of the national security forces and government officials.

(Edited by Uttara Ramaswamy)


Also Read: Taliban haven’t changed, resistance by Afghans to grow, says ex-US security official Lisa Curtis


 

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