Dialogue initiated with Taliban


Prime Minister Imran Khan’s decision to initiate dialogue with the Taliban leadership for an inclusive government in Afghanistan is being appreciated by all stakeholders. After important meetings at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Heads of State Summit, the PM tweeted about the dialogue which aims at getting the Afghan government to include Uzbeks, Tajiks, and Hazaras. This is a very mature approach because it will make the Taliban put their cards on the table on the one hand, and give the international community enough to resume the country’s aid on the other.
This is a very crucial time for Afghanistan and the deadlock between Kabul and the west about the Taliban fulfilling their promises is not helping anyone. America’s decision to freeze close to $10 billion of the Afghan central bank’s money, especially, has restricted the new government’s ability to take care of its people. Pakistan’s position is that the aid must be resumed immediately, so the country can avoid a catastrophe, and then future tranches can be made contingent upon the Taliban showing flexibility, forming an inclusive government, giving women their proper rights, etc.
It’s unfortunate that Washington seems bent upon delaying aid money to Afghanistan for as long as possible. After having practically ruined the country over twenty years of war, and leaving it in a far worse condition, the least it could have done was help with the subsequent reconstruction. As things stand, the Afghan economy is shattered and there is a very real prospect of famines breaking out in parts of the large country. Whatever point the Americans are now trying to prove by making Taliban grovel for aid is only pushing Afghanistan closer to the edge. Pakistan is the most directly affected by whatever happens across its western border, and has at least 80,000 dead to show for it, therefore it understands better than most countries just how to guarantee lasting peace in Afghanistan. And the only shot the country has at it right now is the formation of an inclusive government, where everybody has representation, and enough aid money to get the ball rolling.