Sunday September 19, 2021

Pakistan should help Afghanistan 'dismantle' Taliban: Afghan envoy at UNSC meeting

Taliban attacks are intensifying with every passing day, Afghan ambassador Ghulam M Isaczai says
AFP & Web Desk
August 06, 2021
Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Afghanistan to the United Nations Ghulam M Isaczai speaking during the United Nations Security Councils open meeting on the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan at the United Nations in New York, on August 6, 2021. — Screengrab from UN live feed
Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Afghanistan to the United Nations Ghulam M Isaczai speaking during the United Nations Security Council's open meeting on the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan at the United Nations in New York, on August 6, 2021. — Screengrab from UN live feed

Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Afghanistan to the United Nations Ghulam M Isaczai said Friday Pakistan should help Afghanistan in "dismantling" the Taliban for peace to prosper in the war-torn country.

The Afghan ambassador's comments came during an open meeting of the United Nations Security Council on the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan.

The discussion was requested by the Afghan government, as well as Norway and Estonia. The Security Council last met on Afghanistan in June, but the situation in the conflict-ridden country has rapidly worsened since then.

The peace talks that had started between Taliban and the Afghan government last year in Doha, Qatar have not made significant progress, as the war continues. 

Isaczai, who represented Foreign Minister Haneef Atmar in the meeting, said the Taliban had launched brutal attacks which had caused further instability in the country.

"It is our job to stop it."

Taliban and their ties with terrorists 

In recent days, the Taliban and their affiliated groups have launched more than 5,000 attacks in 31 of the 34 provinces, Isaczai said, slamming the group for going against the Doha peace deal.

The ambassador said the group had gone against the peace deal by not cutting off ties with international terrorist organisations.

"And their ties cannot be broken off," he alleged.

"Those who indulge and participate with them also reap the benefits," he said, adding the Taliban were "linked to 20 foreign terrorist organisations".

The Taliban are in contact with Al-Qaeda, Daesh, and Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan's militant organisations, the Afghan representative told the UNSC meeting.

"We request Pakistan to dismantle Taliban infrastructure and pipelines," Isaczai said, noting that Taliban attacks are intensifying with every passing day.

UN envoy says Taliban attacks on cities 'must stop now'

The United Nations' envoy to Afghanistan called on the Taliban to cease its attacks on major cities immediately as she warned the conflict-torn country was heading for "catastrophe."

Deborah Lyons, head of the United Nations Afghanistan aid operation, painted a grim picture of the country's deteriorating situation during the special meeting.

"The Security Council must issue an unambiguous statement that attacks against cities must stop now," Lyons told the 15-member council via video-link from Kabul.

"Today we have an opportunity," Lyons pleaded with the council.

"An opportunity to demonstrate the commitment of the UN Security Council, and the regional and international community that you represent to prevent Afghanistan from descending into a situation of catastrophe, so serious that it would have few, if any parallels in this century," she said.

Lyons added that countries meeting with Taliban representatives should "insist on a general ceasefire" and a "resumption" of the negotiations.

She said a travel ban exemption allowing Taliban members to travel only for the purpose of peace negotiations should only be extended next month "predicated on real progress on peace."

"The council should give serious consideration to providing the United Nations with a mandate that allows it to play, when requested by both parties, a greater role in facilitating negotiations," Lyons added.