In another attempt at pushing the interim Afghan government towards international recognition, Pakistan, on Monday officially invited the Taliban to a summit of Islamic nations. First reported by Tolo News, the meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) is scheduled to be held on December 19 and would see pivotal players from mid-east and west Asia in attendance. The Imran Khan administration has been widely batting for the newly formed Afghanistan administration-including at the UNGA-even at the risk of jeopardising its relationship with the west.
“Positive engagement of the international community with Afghanistan is extremely important,” Imran khan said.
🇵🇰 has always stood by its brothers and sisters in #Afghanistan. The hosting of @OIC_OCI CFM on 19 December to consider the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan is a continuation of this resolve.
# OICinPakistan pic.twitter.com/ScOaPn1Xfp
— Spokesperson 🇵🇰 MoFA (@ForeignOfficePk) December 13, 2021
“Many Islamic countries don’t have good ties with Afghanistan. I hope these countries rebuild their relations and together make a decision on recognizing Afghanistan,” Sayed Ishaq Gailani, head of the National Solidarity Movement of Afghanistan was quoted as saying by ANI.
‘Economy, Banking also to be discussed’
While normalisation of Afghanistan’s relationship with the rest of the world’s top the agenda, other crucial issues include the country’s collapsing economy and banking system under the Taliban, Head of Centre for Strategic Studies at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Walliullah Shaheen said, as reported by Tolo News. It is imperative to note that Afghanistan is currently battered with its worst economic crisis with over 22 million residents facing acute food shortages. The summit, which is expected to see global powers like the European Union (EU), the US, UK, and Russia participate could serve as a channel for the Taliban to secure more succour.
“The economy, banking system and normalization of Afghanistan’s relations with the world are the agenda items of the meeting, and we, as the foreign ministry (of Afghanistan), will participate in this meeting,” Shaheen said.
The Taliban seized Kabul on August 15 with a promise to refrain from fostering its ultra austere rules on civilians. However, its promise waned as it imposed stringent dress codes and restricted women to their homes. More recently, reports of the insurgent administration seeking universal approval have surfaced. Speaking to Associated Press, Afghan Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi said that the new rulers are seeking the world’s “mercy and compassion” to help the millions of vulnerable Afghans in need. Muttaqi also said, “Sanctions against Afghanistan would … not have any benefit.”
Muttaqi said, “We have made progress in administration and politics … in interaction with the nation and the world. With each passing day, we will gain more experience and make more progress.”