Western countries organising peace talks with Taliban
Kabul, Afghanistan: Since returning to power in mid-August last year, the Taliban for the first time held three day talks with the representatives of the US, UK, France, Germany, Italy, France, EU in a meeting hosted by Norway in Oslo.
Recently, led by Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi, the Taliban held their first official talks with the Western world. The 15-member all-male delegation arrived in the Norwegian capital Oslo in a plane chartered by the Norwegian government. Also in the delegation was Anas Haqqani of the Haqqani network, reported a Canada-based think tank, International Forum for Rights and Security (IFFRAS).
The main goal with which the Taliban went for the talks was to get recognition and to persuade to unfreeze the USD 10 billion Afghan money that was frozen by US and other western countries after Taliban took control over Afghanistan.
Afghanistan is facing worse humanitarian crisis with no international aid. Ravaged by severe droughts, the country is going through a worse hunger crisis affecting 55 per cent of Afghan population according to the United Nations.
Unemployment is at its peak and government officials have not been paid their salaries for many months now. Taliban was circulating the idea that it was a meeting called by the western nations to recognise and legitimise the Afghan government under the Taliban rule, a Canada-based think tank reported.
According to the think tank, the Taliban has to be made answerable for the atrocities committed in the past, and also the continuing human rights violations.
Peace in Afghanistan is only possible when constitutional safeguards are in place to protect the rights of women and ethnic minorities. Is the Taliban ready to do this? Going by the recent attacks on women in particular it looks nowhere close to this. So, engaging with Taliban currently would only mean de facto recognising it and this would not be in the best interest of an ordinary Afghan citizen, IFFRAS reported.
Just after Norway visit, Taliban officials landed in Geneva to seek humanitarian aid. Hosting Taliban in Oslo and then in Geneva is a disfavour to the Afghan women.
“Taliban brutality is as clear as a day to the whole world to see, so why would the western nations continue to hobnob first in Norway and then in Geneva? Normalising relations with the Taliban would only embolden them to brazenly carry forward the tyranny, which has become important characteristic of their rule,” a Canada-based think tank questioned.
The people of Afghanistan deserve better from the western nations. The humanitarian aid can also be made available to the Afghan people without giving legitimacy to Taliban. The aid can be made available by adopting or recognising parallel structures for the disbursement of humanitarian aid by totally bypassing the Taliban, IFFRAS reported.