Pakistan Behavior Will Not Change After Border Skirmish with Taliban, Says Zardari

Friday, 12/16/2022

Pakistan's Foreign Minister, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, said on Thursday in New York that the recent border skirmish between the Taliban and Pakistani forces will not change Islamabad's policy towards the group.

He said that sanctions on the Taliban will not be effective.

Bhutto was in New York to attend the meeting of foreign ministers of the Group of 77, a coalition of developing countries within the framework of the United Nations. The meeting is focused on the development and climate issues of the member countries.

In a press conference at the UN headquarters, Bhutto said that the Taliban's policies towards women and border clashes with Pakistan, will not result in a reduction of the level of relations with the group.

Pakistan’s foreign minister added, "Not only Pakistan, but also other countries of the world should interact with the Taliban. We cannot ignore the Taliban; they are part of the reality. However, we must reconsider our interaction, especially in relation to the issue of the Pakistani Taliban and our expectations from them.”

He criticised the western countries for trying to change the Taliban's policy towards women and the formation of an inclusive government through economic and banking sanctions.

Bhutto said, "We cannot impose hunger on Afghans to make them believe in empowering women."

He added that the economic situation of Afghanistan is dire and the political atmosphere to change the behavior of the Taliban has not been created.

Pakistan's foreign minister admitted that following the ISIS attack on the Pakistani embassy in Kabul, security conditions are not favourable for the activities of the Pakistani diplomatic delegation in Kabul.

Bhutto said that he had not recalled the Pakistani chief of mission in Kabul to Islamabad, but added that whenever the Taliban addresses Pakistan's security concerns, he will return to Kabul.

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