Afghanistan seeks Pakistan’s help in ‘dismantling’ Taliban

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The Afghan ambassador addressed an open meeting of the United Nations Security Council on the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan

News Desk

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

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.

Peace talks between the Afghan government and Taliban negotiators started last year in the Qatari capital of Doha, but have not made any substantive progress.

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.”

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 organiations.

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.

Afghanistan’s UN Isaczai urged the Security Council to act to “prevent a catastrophic situation.”

“We’re alarmed by reports and incidents of gross human rights violation by the Taliban and their foreign terrorist associates in almost half of our country and we are extremely concerned about the safety and security of people in cities under Taliban attacks,” he said.

Meanwhile, UN special envoy for Afghanistan, Deborah Lyons, told the Security Council the war in Afghanistan had entered a “new, deadlier, and more destructive phase” with more than 1,000 civilians killed in the past month during a Taliban offensive.

“A party that was genuinely committed to a negotiated settlement would not risk so many civilian casualties, because it would understand that the process of reconciliation will be more challenging the more blood is shed,” Lyons said via video link from Kabul.

“The Security Council must issue an unambiguous statement that attacks against cities must stop now,” Deborah Lyons told the 15-member council.

“This is now a different kind of war, reminiscent of Syria, recently, or Sarajevo, in the not-so-distant past,” Lyons said.

Deputy US Ambassador to the United Nations Richard Mills urged the Taliban to halt their offensive, pursue a political settlement and protect Afghanistan’s infrastructure and people. “The Taliban must hear from the international community that we will not accept a military takeover of Afghanistan or a return of the Taliban’s Islamic Emirate,” he said.