Inclusive Government & Human Rights In Afghanistan In Focus At Moscow Format Meeting

Friday, 09/29/2023

During the Moscow Format meeting, special representatives of a several regional countries stressed on counter-terrorism and the formation of an inclusive government in Afghanistan.

Referring to the widespread violation of human rights in Afghanistan, these representatives asked the Taliban to respond to the concerns of the international community.

Asif Durrani, Pakistan's special representative for Afghanistan, said that the international community’s concerns regarding the human rights and women's rights have not been answered.

He added that two-thirds of the Afghan people depend on humanitarian aid to survive.

He stated that the international community has not achieved anything in Afghanistan in the last two years.

Durrani said, "To be honest, we should not hold the Afghan people hostage for our own interests. Let's ask what the international community has done for the people of Afghanistan in the last two years?"

Durrani stated that the countries of the region should have an active and positive approach in Afghanistan.

He added that Pakistan wants to increase humanitarian aid in Afghanistan and asked the international community to be aware of the needs and problems of the Afghan people. Asif Durrani stressed that assistance to Afghanistan should be increased in development sector and beyond the humanitarian aid.

He said that Pakistan supports the approach of regional countries towards Afghanistan.

The Moscow format meeting on Afghanistan was held on Friday in Kazan city of Russia.

Representatives of Russia, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan have attended the meeting.

Inclusive government

Yue Xiaoyong, China’s Special Representative for Afghanistan, stressed that the key to peace in Afghanistan is to ensure women's rights and to form an inclusive government in the country.

He said that Afghanistan's neighbours are trying to improve the country's situation.

The Chinese representative blamed United States for the current situation in Afghanistan. He added that Beijing has tried to improve the economic situation of the people of Afghanistan.

Addressing the participating countries, he stressed on the cooperation of Afghanistan's neighbouring countries to improve the situation in Afghanistan.

According to him, drugs and terrorism are among other challenges which require practical actions. He added that the Taliban "managed to eliminate ISIS in Khorasan, but it is not enough”.

Xiaoyong also called for the lifting of sanctions against the Taliban.

A Taliban delegation headed by Amir Khan Muttaqi, the group's foreign minister, also participated as "guests" in the Moscow format meeting.

Counter-Terrorism and Human rights

Talgat Kaliyev, Kazakhstan's representative for Afghanistan, stated during the Moscow Format meeting that if the Taliban seeks recognition, they must adhere to their commitments in the Doha Agreement, including fighting against drugs, countering terrorism, and respecting human rights and women's rights.

He added that Kazakhstan is ready to cooperate with Afghanistan in economic and educational sectors. He also noted that Kazakhstan maintains nearly USD one billion in trade with Afghanistan.

In this meeting, he expressed hope that the next meeting of the Moscow format will be held in Almaty.

Emphasis on girls' education

Talatbek Masadykov, Kyrgyzstan's representative for Afghanistan, also stressed on the education and work of Afghan women in the meeting and said, "According to Islamic law, if you want to educate a nation, educate a girl."

He stated that the CASA 1000 project is important and said that Kyrgyzstan is ready to have friendly relations with Afghanistan.

He addressed the international community and said that humanitarian aid to Afghanistan should not be politicised. He further emphasised that the problem of Afghanistan should be solved, but not by force.

Concern regarding the growth of terrorist groups in Afghanistan

During the Moscow format meeting, Sharaf Rahimi, the representative of the Tajikistan president for Afghanistan affairs, said that terrorist groups have increased in Afghanistan and Afghan youths are trying to join terrorist groups.

Rahimi emphasised that these groups have light and heavy weapons.

He added that it was found that these terrorist groups financed themselves through drug sales.

He further clarified that the situation in Afghanistan is critical and the people are suffering from extreme poverty. He added that addressing severe human rights issues, improving the challenging economic situation, and establishing an inclusive government in Afghanistan are shared desires among all neighbouring countries.

Rahimi said that this country shares a 400-kilometer border with Afghanistan, and all donor countries can use Tajikistan's borders.

Pawan Kapoor, India’s representative in this meeting, said that Lashkar-e-Taiba, ISIS and extremist groups are the concerns of India and neighbouring countries.

He added that drug trafficking and cultivation have decreased in Afghanistan, but the price of drugs has not decreased.

Kapoor emphasised that India is fully committed to cooperate with neighbouring countries to ensure peace and security in Afghanistan.

Referring his country’s assistance to Afghanistan, he said that Delhi has contributed over three billion dollars to more than 15 projects.

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