Taliban eyes development but. . .

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WHILE facing international isolation and suspension of some humanitarian operations over its restrictions on women, the Taliban government in Afghanistan desires to move forward on the path of economic development.

Sharing the future strategy, its Commerce Minister Nooruddin Azizi, in an interview, stated they will start a national self-sufficiency program aimed at encouraging use of domestic products as well as boost trade and foreign investment.

Over the last many decades, the ordinary Afghans have only seen death and destruction. Even after the withdrawal of the NATO troops, their miseries are not over as they continue facing economic and hunger crisis that is feared to kill more people than the war of last two decades.

It, is, therefore a matter of satisfaction that the new Afghan set-up is planning to take the country in the right direction on the economic front but this is not going to be an easy task at all for it.

The Afghan Commerce Minister stated that countries like China and Iran are showing interest for trade and investment in Afghanistan. He also laid out a plan to develop industry by creating special economic zones.

Given its geo-strategic position and vast natural resources which have been estimated at over one trillion dollars, the war-torn country has a massive potential to grow but the Afghan authorities must not forget that the foreign investors will remain wary until and unless the security situation improves.

The presence of terrorist outfits such as TTP and Daesh will always keep the investors at bay.

Hence, it is in Afghanistan’s own interest to act decisively against these terrorist outfits and crush them with full force.

The country is already faced with international sanctions and increased isolation over its policies in recent days restricting women from access to public life including attending universities.

Better sense must prevail in the ranks of Afghan authorities and they must bring women into the national mainstream in order to achieve the development goals.

Instead of pursuing the course of sanctions, it is also for the international community to engage with the Afghan government to steer the country out of myriad of problems.

An instable Afghanistan will only continue to serve as a safe haven for the terrorists and pose a threat to regional peace and security.