Be realistic and show patience: Pakistan warns against isolating Taliban

Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mohammed Qureshi has asked the world to be realistic and show patience while dealing with the Taliban, the new rulers of Afghanistan, with an incentive-based roadmap leading to recognition of the new government

Sep 23, 2021
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Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mohammed Qureshi

Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mohammed Qureshi has asked the world to be realistic and show patience while dealing with the Taliban, the new rulers of Afghanistan, with an incentive-based roadmap leading to recognition of the new government. He warned against isolating the group. 

In a widely noticed interview to The Associated Press Qureshi said, “If they live up to those expectations, they would make it easier for themselves, they will get acceptability, which is required for recognition.” He further added the world needs to think, “What’s the alternative? What are the options? This is the reality, and can they turn away from this reality?”

Pakistan, he said, wants to see a peaceful, stable Afghanistan with no space for terrorist elements to increase their foothold, and for the Taliban to ensure “that Afghan soil is never used again against any country”--a position, he says, “is in sync with the international community.” 

He also told the American newswire that the way they have been dealt with had not worked, asking the world to “be more realistic” and “try an innovative way of engaging with them.” 

The Afghan government might be motivated by receiving development, economic, and reconstruction aid to help recover from decades of war. And, the international community can stress human rights conditions and inclusive government.

In the interview, Qureshi reiterated Pakistan’s position on unfreezing Afghan assets to avoid what is already becoming a serious humanitarian and economic disaster. 

Earlier, Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan had also said that the Taliban needed to be more "sensitive and receptive" to international concerns if they wanted recognition for their government. Qureshi in the interview said that they are “sensitive” to what is being said by neighbors and the world. 

When asked about their all-male and almost all ethnic Pashtun government, Qureshi defended the Taliban, saying they made some additions which included members from Hazara, Uzbek and Tajik communities.

However, Pashtuns, which account for 42 percent of the total Afghan population, overwhelmed the new interim government, which created resentment among other minority ethnic groups.