Problems mount for Taliban as Pak FM’s firefighting mission fails : The Tribune India

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 25

Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi’s firefighting mission to get Tajikistan’s assent for a Taliban Government in Kabul received a rude shock from its President even as financial problems mounted for Afghanistan with the World Bank stopping its aid days after the International Monetary Fund had withheld a loan.

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Tajikistan President Emomali Rahmon told Qureshi pointblank that it is necessary to establish an inclusive government, especially with the participation of Afghan Tajiks and Dushanbe “will not recognise any other government that will be formed through oppression, without taking into account the position of the entire Afghan people, especially all its national minorities”.

A lengthy statement from the Tajik Presidential blamed the Taliban for abandoning its previous promise to form an interim government with the broad participation of other political forces. Instead, the group is preparing to establish an Islamic emirate, it noted.

The forthright statement has implications for the Panjshir Valley holdouts led by Tajiks Ahmad Massoud and Amrullah Saleh who have been joined by some officers of the Afghan army and Uzbek origin military leaders. The blockade of the Panjshir Valley is raising concern in Tajikistan which shares the same ethnicity. Resistance2 in Panjshir Valley has appealed for foreign help and Farkhor, the nearest military base of Tajikistan, is just 200 km away.

Emomali Rahmon also spoke up for the Uzbeks and other national minorities who, along with Afghan Tajiks, are being subjected to “all forms of lawlessness, murder, looting and persecution”.

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Meanwhile, there was more financial trouble for the Taliban as the World Bank “paused disbursements in our operations in Afghanistan and we are closely monitoring and assessing the situation in line with our internal policies and procedures,” said its spokesperson Marcela Sanchez-Bender.

The IMF has also suspended Afghanistan’s access to about $ 440 million in new monetary reserves because of the absence of a government in Kabul. The Taliban had appointed a Maulana as the head of the Afghan Central Bank. It remains to be seen whether the two multilateral banks, in which the trans-Atlantic alliance has a controlling stake, will react to the new announcement.

However, even if the IMF or the World Bank were to relent, American consent is required because its Treasury has imposed sanctions on most of the Taliban leadership.

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