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Pakistan’s Envoy Meets Afghan Politicians in Kabul

by Newsweek Pakistan

Ambassador Mansoor Ahmad Khan, left, with Hamid Karzai, center, and Abdullah Abdullah. Photo courtesy Mansoor Ahmad Khan

Ambassador Mansoor Khan says talks with Hamid Karzai, Abdullah Abdullah focused on ensuring lasting stability in Afghanistan

Pakistan Ambassador to Afghanistan Mansoor Ahmad Khan on Thursday said he had met former Afghan president Hamid Karzai and senior official Abdullah Abdullah and discussed the prevailing situation in the country following the Taliban’s takeover.

“Called on former Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Dr. Abdullah Abdullah. Had constructive discussions on efforts for lasting stability in Afghanistan,” he said in a posting on Twitter. Karzai also posted on Twitter about the meeting, adding that they had discussed the latest situation in Afghanistan and ongoing efforts to secure an inclusive political process with “national and international legitimacy” amid efforts to form a new government in the war-torn country.

The same day, the Taliban formally announced the creation of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. “[This is a] declaration of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan on the occasion of the 102nd anniversary of the country’s independence from British rule,” posted Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid in a posting on Twitter.

Efforts to secure an inclusive transitional government in Afghanistan have taken on urgency following former president Ashraf Ghani’s resignation and exit from Kabul. The Taliban have swiftly taken over the majority of the country and have claimed that they want a return to “peace and stability.” They have also sought to reassure opponents, including employees of the government and international organizations, that they would not be targeted for retaliation. Despite this, reports persist of Taliban militants seeking out opponents and subjecting them to torture or death.

Earlier this week, Prime Minister Imran Khan and Chief of the Army Staff Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa met a delegation of Afghan politicians in Islamabad, and assured them that Pakistan would do everything for an “inclusive settlement” of the Afghan conflict.

The eight-member Afghan delegation, comprising Salahuddin Rabbani, Muhammad Younis Qanooni, Ustad Muhammad Karim Khalili, Ahmed Zia Masoud, Ustad Muhammad Muhaqiq, Ahmed Wali Masoud, Abdul Latif Pidram and Khalid Noor, had arrived in Pakistan the same day the Afghan Taliban took control of Kabul.

Addressing a press conference on Wednesday, they described Islamabad as a “major player” in Kabul’s affairs, adding that Pakistan had conveyed “positive messages” during their meetings. They also warned the Taliban that if the group “repeated the mistakes of the past,” it would not be able to survive for long, adding that capturing territory during conflict and governing it were two different matters.

“Everything the Taliban have said, till now, are mere words,” said the delegation. “Their actions will make the difference.”

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