THE Taliban held their first face-to-face talks with a joint US-EU delegation on Tuesday in Qatar as Brussels pledged one billion Euros in aid for Afghanistan.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced the EU aid package, stressing the funds are direct support for the Afghans and would be channelled through international organizations working on the ground, not to the Taliban’s interim government.
Whilst the aid package is really a welcome step to avert humanitarian crisis in the war-torn country but providing it through Non Government Organizations really shows their lack of trust on the new Afghan set-up.
Only the time will tell as to how the package is disbursed to bring some relief in the life of Afghan people.
In our view, however, it will have been far useful if the funds were provided directly to the interim Afghan set-up as they have control over the entire country and can better regulate and use them wherever needed the most.
This would also have helped the western countries to develop a better working relationship with the Taliban. It must be understood that the new set-up requires funds to run day-to-day affairs besides importing the items that are required in the country.
Leaving them high and dry will only take the situation towards the worst. Hence, the western countries will have to review their policy and unfreeze Afghanistan’s funds to the tune of about $ 9 billion.
The first priority should be that the basic needs of the Afghans are fulfilled in a timely manner before pressing for anything else.
Whilst forgetting the bitterness of the past, both the sides will have to move forward with a positive frame of mind to heal the wounds of Afghan people.
The consultation process between the Taliban and the western countries must go on without any hiatus in order to take the matters towards improvement and pave the way for rebuilding of the conflict- ridden country. The West has a greater responsibility to rehabilitate the life of ordinary Afghans.