FOREIGN Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has said the propaganda by Ashraf Ghani’s ousted government against the Taliban has proved false as they have announced general amnesty and are not barring girls’ education.
Addressing the Hussainia Conference and talking to newsmen in Multan, he said the Taliban are opening schools and businesses, vowing not to take revenge and are taking other peaceful measures, which is welcome.
He also pointed out that the world was contacting Pakistan for resolution of the Afghanistan issue, considering it a responsible country.
There are highly conflicting interests at play in Afghanistan and propaganda against the Taliban is quite understandable but this is a challenge that the Taliban face and they will have to work hard to foil designs of the anti-peace elements and forces.
Their pronouncements and actions ever since fall of Kabul to them are encouraging but it is regrettable that some members of the international community continue harping on the same old string of human and women rights while some local warlords are trying to trigger yet another crisis in the war-torn country just for the sake of their own vested interests and designs.
This is evident from the intention expressed by Ahmad Massoud, son of Ahmad Shah Massoud, to hold out against the Taliban from his stronghold in the Panjshir Valley, claiming members of the Afghan military including some from the elite Special Forces units had rallied to his cause and that the West should help him in this cause.
Similarly, anti-Taliban protests are being sponsored in different parts of Afghanistan despite assurances of safety and security by the Taliban and their appeal to all segments of the society including government employees to resume their normal activities.
They are using all resources at their disposal to restore confidence of the people and this was confirmed once again when they issued Friday sermon guidelines to imams and preachers across Afghanistan, telling them to urge citizens not to leave the country from fear or other reasons.
A day earlier, on Thursday, they urged crowds of Afghans waiting outside Kabul airport in the hope of fleeing the country to go home, saying they did not want to hurt anyone.
They are also facilitating staff of foreign missions in leaving the country and as they also did in the case of Indian staff that were safely escorted to the airport.
The Taliban have also allowed the Afghan Cricket Board to continue its activities dispelling the propaganda that the Board might be banned.
The Taliban demonstrated their muscles to resist the combined might of the world powers and almost all hostile local groups for over two decades but despite all this they resisted the temptation of forming an exclusive government after their triumphant entry in Kabul.
Instead, they are meaningfully engaging their rivals and foes exploring the possibility of their participation in an inclusive set up that represents the will of the Afghan people.
All these positive gestures needed to be appreciated and the search for a peaceful solution by the international community but there are still signs of use of blackmailing tactics to pressurize the Taliban.
A case in point is the statement of President Joe Biden who claimed on Thursday that the Taliban have not changed but are going through an “existential crisis” about whether they want legitimacy on the global stage as they have taken over Afghanistan.
How can you say that without giving them sufficient time to prove their credentials? Why have Afghan national assets been frozen in other parts of the globe at a time when the country needed them badly to stabilize? The mess in Afghanistan has been created by the US-led coalition and it is the collective responsibility of all those countries to come forward and help clear the mess.
However, it seems that Pakistan has been left alone to do so and credit goes to the civil and military leadership of the country for steadfastly pursuing the agenda of providing all possible support to help Afghanistan secure the goal of peace and security.
Some vested interests still point accusing fingers towards Pakistan but their claims stood exposed when a broad-based delegation of Afghan politicians, after their visit to Pakistan and talks with the national leadership, publicly thanked Islamabad for its positive role.
The delegation said that a new chapter will be opened in Afghanistan-Pakistan relations, adding that it considered Islamabad an important player to achieve regional peace.
It said that Pakistan had communicated a positive message during meetings held to discuss the way forward in Afghanistan.
The situation in Afghanistan would improve at a fast pace if other stakeholders follow the footsteps of Pakistan and work sincerely for the cause of peace there.