International

Pakistan has initiated dialogue with Taliban for an inclusive Afghan government: Imran Khan

Islamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday (September 18) said that he has “initiated a dialogue” with the Taliban for an inclusive government in Kabul that will include Tajiks, Hazaras and Uzbeks, a day after the SCO member states said that it is critical to have an inclusive government in the war-torn country with representatives from all ethnic, religious and political groups.

The Taliban, which seized control of Afghanistan in mid-August, had promised an “inclusive” government that represents Afghanistan’s complex ethnic makeup, but there is no Hazara member and no woman in the interim 33-member Cabinet. Taking to Twitter, Khan said, “After mtgs (meetings) in Dushanbe with leaders of Afghanistan’s neighbours & especially a lengthy discussion with Tajikistan’s President Emomali Rahmon, I have initiated a dialogue with the Taliban for an inclusive Afghan govt to include Tajiks, Hazaras & Uzbeks.”

“After 40 years of conflict, this inclusivity will ensure peace and a stable Afghanistan, which is in the interest not only of Afghanistan but the region as well,” he said in another tweet.

The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) leaders, in a joint declaration issued at the end of the annual Summit of the bloc in Tajikistan on Friday, voiced support for an independent, democratic and peaceful Afghanistan, free of terrorism, war and drugs.

“Member States believe that it is critical to have an inclusive Government in Afghanistan, with representatives from all ethnic, religious and political groups of Afghan society,” the joint declaration said, in an apparent reference to the Taliban’s interim government which is dominated by high-profile members of the insurgent group, including at least 14 members who are on the UN Security Council’s terrorism blacklist.

Also read: Pakistan was like a hired gun for the United States, says Imran Khan

The Taliban seized power in Afghanistan on August 15, two weeks before the US’ complete troop withdrawal on August 31 after a costly two-decade war. This forced Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to flee the country to the UAE. The Taliban insurgents stormed across Afghanistan and captured all major cities in a matter of days, as Afghan security forces trained and equipped by the US and its allies melted away.

Thousands of Afghan nationals and foreigners have fled the country to escape the new Taliban regime and to seek asylum in different nations, including the US and many European nations, resulting in total chaos and deaths.