10/12/2021, 16.11
AFGHANISTAN
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Pakistan and Taliban ask for (economic) support from the West

The G20 extraordinary meeting on Afghanistan opened today via videoconference to avoid a humanitarian crisis, while the new government in Kabul is asking for financial resources without making concessions in terms of rights. Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan calls on Western countries to work together to avoid going back 20 years.

Kabul (AsiaNews/Agencies) – The G20 extraordinary meeting on Afghanistan convened by Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi opened today via videoconference.

Discussions will focus on how to avoid the humanitarian crisis and financial meltdown, while the Taliban government and Pakistan are asking Western countries for recognition and (economic) support.

After the freeze on loans and international aid, the Afghan economy is in fact near collapse.

Yesterday, the new Afghan government appealed for sanctions to be lifted and the unblocking of more than US$ 9 billion in Afghan Central Bank reserves held abroad.

In Doha, where diplomatic meetings are being held in parallel to the G20, Afghan Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi told the delegations of the European Union and the United States that Afghanistan wants to maintain good relations with other countries.

“The international community need to start cooperating with us," Muttaqi said. Yet, the Taliban refuse to accept foreign conditions, so that girls are still excluded from secondary education.

Responding to foreign criticism, Muttaqi said that new government cannot implement reforms the international community could not implement in 20 years.

The previous government “had a lot of financial resources and they had a strong international backing and support but at the same time you are asking us to do all the reforms in two months?” he said.

Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan also stressed the need for Western governments to cooperate with the new Afghan government.

“The world must engage with Afghanistan because if it pushes it away, within the Taliban movement there are hardliners, and it could easily go back to the Taliban of 2000 and that would be a disaster,” he told The Middle East Eye in an interview.

According to Khan, the Taliban government is not inclusive "now" and is not treating women as promised, but it will in the near future. He then said he was "relieved" by the "peaceful transfer of power" that took place with Kabul’s fall two months ago.

Trying to further reassure the West, the Pakistani prime minister underlined the Taliban's intention not to let Afghan “soil to be used for terrorism by anyone”.

Mullah Muttaqi said that the Taliban forces have full control of the country and the Islamic State-Khorasan Province (ISKP) is a threat under control.

However, the latter have claimed responsibility for a recent series of attacks in (three reportedly against religious sites in last week alone), including the attack on a Shia mosque in Kunduz, in which more than 50 people were killed and nearly 150 injured.

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