There was a lot more to Afghanistan than a land that has been destroyed as the rest of the world silently watched during the last forty years, said Ms Shandana Gulzar Khan, Federal Parliamentary Secretary for Commerce.
She was addressing a gathering at Institute of Regional Studies (IRS), Islamabad. Ms Khan said that it was ironic but the phrase ‘the more things change, the more they stay the same’ was apt to describe the evolving situation in Afghanistan. The dilemma with Afghanistan, she added, was that every country so far had treated it as its personal fiefdom and by those standards, the countries that were a part of the problem could certainly not be the cure.
That said, she insisted that in order to deal with the Taliban, now in charge of Afghanistan, it was important to realise that for negotiations to result in successful/sought results, the party at the other end had to be accorded due respect. Additionally, it was critical to agree on what exactly the world leaders were aiming to cater for the Afghan people. If human rights meant women rights, she categorically stated, the Afghan women did not seek western rights, they sought Islamic rights. Iterating Pakistan’s commitment to assist the Afghan brothers and sisters, she said that Pakistan was not a nation that would forsake the lives that were left at its doorstep and would help the refugees in every capacity possible.
Dr Jochen Hippler, Country Director Fredrich-Ebert-Stifung while commenting on the role of regional powers in ensuring security in Afghanistan said, that it was vital to take note of the internal dynamics of Afghanistan and more so, the internal dynamics of the Taliban. He said that ideologically.