Khar to attend UN talks in Qatar on Afghanistan crisis

ISLAMABAD: Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar will be attending a meeting of special envoys on Afghanistan being held from May 1 to 2, 2023 in Doha, Qatar.

The meeting is being held under the auspices of the United Nations, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a press release on Monday.

Besides attending the meeting, Khar will also hold bilateral meetings with leaders of other participating countries.

Chaired by the United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, the meeting brings together major international and regional countries to discuss the ongoing situation in Afghanistan with a view towards constructive engagement.

The Taliban government has not been invited, however, and ahead of the meeting, the question of recognition of the administration has loomed large, reported AFP.

The Minister of State for Foreign Affairs will present Pakistan’s perspective vis-à-vis Afghanistan and work on building a consensus on a way forward with international and regional partners.

Pakistan will continue to support all efforts to advance the shared objectives of a peaceful, stable, sovereign, prosperous and connected Afghanistan, the ministry said.

In November last year, Khar led a delegation to Kabul for a one-day visit where she met with acting Afghan foreign minister Amir Khan Muttaqi. It was not clear whether security was discussed at the meeting.

“A range of bilateral issues of common interest including cooperation in education, health, trade and investment, regional connectivity, people-to-people contacts and socioeconomic projects were discussed,” the Foreign Office had said in a statement.

Prior to the upcoming Doha talks, the United Nations and the United States have insisted that recognition of the Taliban government is not on the agenda.

Rights groups’ fears have been fuelled by UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed, who said last month that the Doha meeting could find “baby steps” that lead to a “principled recognition” of the Taliban government.

The UN said the comments were misinterpreted. No country has established formal ties with the Taliban administration and UN membership can only be decided by the UN General Assembly.

Ahead of his arrival in Doha, Guterres’ office said the meeting “is intended to achieve a common understanding within the international community on how to engage with the Taliban” on women’s and girls’ rights, inclusive governance, countering terrorism and drug trafficking.

No nation has yet acknowledged the government as legitimate since the Taliban returned to power on the heels of a withdrawal from Afghanistan by US forces in 2021.

A previous Taliban government that ruled from 1996 to 2001 was only granted formal recognition by three nations — Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.

Diplomats, NGOs and aid agencies are currently deeply divided over the issue.

Some believe the international community might cajole the Taliban into reversing curbs on women’s rights by dangling the prospect of recognition. Others say even discussing it grants the Taliban some legitimacy at a time when they are squeezing women out of public life.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisment -

Must Read

Is India a Rogue State?

The term rogue state is used to describe a country that is perceived as acting in a way that is contrary to international norms...

Suicide blasts on Eid Milad

Epaper_23-10-1 LHR