WASHINGTON: Pakistan would recognize the new Taliban government in Afghanistan if it upholds commitments and promises to human rights that they have made to the international community, Ambassador to United States (US) Asad Majeed Khan has said.
In an exclusive interview with The Washington Diplomat, the Pakistani envoy said, “Whether the Taliban actually abide by those commitments is their call.”
When asked under what conditions Pakistan would recognize the Taliban government, the Pakistan’s Ambassador said, “We have basically laid out our expectations, which is that we want the rights of everyone to be respected.”
“We want that Afghani territory not be used against any other country, including Pakistan. We want human rights and women’s rights to be preserved,” Asad Majeed Khan added.
Ambassador Khan further said Pakistan believed, “instead of indulging in give-and-take on these issues, right now what’s really important is to avert a humanitarian crisis.”
“Right now, what’s really important is to basically not let things fall apart. Clearly, there is a new reality, which is a government under the Taliban” he said, adding, “The international community has to make a choice: between engaging—and that doesn’t necessarily mean recognition—and abandonment.”
Replying to a question about Islamabad-Washington ties, he said since 9/11, Pakistan has essentially been seen through the prism of Afghanistan. “We are together on the same side in terms of our interests and expectations in Afghanistan,” he added.
“The US wants to see the conflict end; that’s also what we want. And we would like to see that the gains Afghanistan has made over the last few decades are preserved,” the Ambassador added.
Asked about the impression in the US that Pakistan supported extremist groups, Ambassador Khan said a deep look was required into the facts.
“Pakistan has been a close partner and ally in decimating al-Qaeda, and in bringing about the peace negotiations on Afghanistan,” he said, asserting that it was unfortunate that Pakistan was associated with a lot of negative news.
About India-Pakistan ties, he said, “unfortunately, we have a government in India which is fundamentalist and ideological, which believes in unilateralism, and which has regrettably rebuffed all our peaceful overtures.”