Pakistan hopes Taliban uphold int’l pledges; calls for ensuring ‘things don’t fall apart’ in Afghanistan

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WASHINGTON (APP): Pakistan looks forward to the Taliban living up to the promises and declarations made to the international community that they would uphold human rights and not allow Afghanistan’s territory to be used against any country, Ambassador Asad Majeed Khan said.

“That remains our expectation from them (the Taliban) and we do hope that they will live up to those expectations,” he said in an interview with DCW50, a local Washington D.C. TV channel, adding that signs from Kabul so far were “encouraging.”

Responding to a question, Ambassador Khan said Pakistan was working with the international community and the extended “Troika”, which includes United States, Russia, and China, about the right time to recognize a government that emerges following the negotiations taking place among the Afghan parties.

He said the Taliban were showing greater receptivity and demonstrating an interest in addressing the concerns of the international community going forward.

“But”, the Pakistani envoy said, “for now what is really important is to make sure that things do not fall apart and that it does not become any more painful for the people of Afghanistan”, referring to the deteriorating security situation in the country.

The Afghan people have a right, a legitimate one, to seek safety and security for themselves and their families, he said.

Asked whether the Taliban control of Kabul had complicated Pakistan’s relationship with the United States, Ambassador Asad Majeed Khan said the two countries have been friends much before the Afghan conflicts started in Afghanistan.

This is one of the oldest bilateral relationships that we have,” he said, pointing out that the United States is one of the largest trading partners of Pakistan and the largest export destination.

“We have been very close counter-terrorism partners … also in dismantling al-Qaeda from that part of the world so that those are abiding interest our two countries have,” Ambassador Khan said.

“If we are able to do what is right in Afghanistan — to encourage different parties to come to a common understanding — I believe that would be a boon for the relationship but independent of whatever happens in Afghanistan, there is a very convincing and compelling case for strong and close US-Pakistan partnerships and I don’t see it going away anytime soon,” the Pakistani envoy added.

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