close
Sunday October 24, 2021

Inclusive govt: Imran opens talks with Taliban

Prime Minister Imran Khan Saturday said he had initiated dialogue with Taliban for formation of an inclusive government in Afghanistan, representing multiple ethnic groups.

September 19, 2021

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan Saturday said he had initiated dialogue with Taliban for formation of an inclusive government in Afghanistan, representing multiple ethnic groups.

He said this in a tweet after the conclusion of the 20th Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Council of Heads of State (SCO-CHS) Summit, where regional leaders, including Premier Imran, met and discussed the current situation in Afghanistan in the backdrop of US withdrawal from the war-torn country.

PM Imran said, “After meetings in Dushanbe with leaders of Afghanistan's neighbours and especially a lengthy discussion with Tajikistan President Emomali Rahmon, I have initiated dialogue with the Taliban for an inclusive Afghan government to include Tajiks, Hazaras and Uzbeks”.

In another tweet, he said, “After 40 years of conflict, this inclusivity will ensure peace and a stable Afghanistan, which is in the interest not only of Afghanistan but the region as well.”

The prime minister has been emphasising the need for an inclusive government in Afghanistan after the Taliban took over power in the country and formed an interim government there.

He reiterated it during his address at the SCO-CHS summit. He also has been cautioning against leaving Afghanistan on its own and stressed aid support to overcome crises there.

In Dushanbe, senior officials from China, Russia, Pakistan and Iran agreed on stepping up communication and coordination on the Afghan issue.

Chinese State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Assistant to Iranian Foreign Minister Seyed Rasoul Mousavi reached the consensus at an informal meeting on Afghanistan in the Tajik capital of Dushanbe.

Wang said that it is necessary for the four countries to strengthen communication and coordination, make unanimous voices, exert positive influence, and play a constructive role in stabilising the situation in Afghanistan.

Countries in the region expect the new Afghan government to be broad-based, inclusive, anti-terrorist, and friendly to neighbours, he stressed. A representative from Tajikistan also participated in the dialogue process.

Earlier, Prime Minister Imran Khan contended, “The Taliban must fulfil the pledges made for an inclusive political structure where all ethnic groups are represented. This is vital for Afghanistan’s stability. It is also important to ensure respect for the rights of all Afghans while making certain that the country will never again be made a safe haven for terrorists.”