NSA warns Afghan collapse on world’s “wait and see policy” on Afghanistan’s Taliban regime recognition. He deemed this policy as flawed that could trigger a total economic collapse in Afghanistan which is already battling with humanitarian crisis and crippled economy.
Speaking at a media conference, Mr Yusuf said: “Wait and see means collapse.”
He recalled that this act of the West is repeating history and this time their 1990s mistake will make the country, Pakistan and the region pay with a price that is beyond comprehension.
He explains to the press conference that economic collapse, civil war, and international terrorism that resulted out of West isolation of Taliban regime in 1990s will return more ferociously than before as the Afghan soil now is more perilous, volatile and invested with nefarious ambitions of Pakistan’s enemies who do not desire peace in the region. The Western leaders, he said, had acknowledged the mistake and pledged not to repeat it.
Taliban earlier this month announced an interim government after taking over Kabul on August 15. However, the world has been cautious about engaging with the new administration.
NSA warns Afghan collapse due to withheld Afghan assets
Countries have said they would first see Taliban’s policies — especially with regard to human rights, women, taking other political actors along, and terrorist groups present in Afghanistan — before according legitimacy to the new regime. Some actions of the new government have added to that skepticism.
Afghanistan’s economy, which has remained heavily dependent on foreign assistance, has been teetering on the edge of collapse because most of the donors have blocked the new regime’s access to funds. The US has frozen Afghan assets worth $9 billion that are held in its banks. NSA warns Afghan collapse as an imminent consequence if the US and international lending institutions such as IMF and World Bank do not release the funds and shed aside their “conditional aid policy”.
The future of international assistance depends on recognition of the Taliban government by the international community.
NSA warns Afghan collapse as humanitarian crisis worsens
Economic troubles have aggravated the humanitarian crisis in the war-ravaged country because of food and medicine shortages. A donors’ conference hosted by the United Nations earlier this week raised $1.1 billion for humanitarian aid for Afghanistan.
Mr Yusuf said: “Humanitarian assistance is a stopgap arrangement that does not equate with governance, (and) institutional and economic support needed to survive in conditions facing Afghanistan.”
Already one third of the 39 million Afghan population is living beyond poverty line. The World Food Program had predicted extreme hunger and malnutrition, as agriculture in Afghanistan which is indispensable to the country by employing 70% of the rural population is in doldrums due to protracted drought spells in the country.
Pakistan had been the ardent supporter in Afghan crisis
Pakistan has been the Taliban regime’s most ardent supporter in the current crisis. It not only shipped relief goods to Afghanistan, but has also been forcefully advocating international recognition for Taliban.
The security adviser, however, said Pakistan neither had enough resources to meet Taliban government’s needs nor could it grant it legitimacy by itself. “It is for the West to do so,” he further said.
Pakistan, he reiterated, has already been working beyond its capacity by ensuring that the political transition in Afghanistan remains peaceful and inclusive and by providing items of necessity to the Afghan people. More than that, Pakistan had also hosted Afghan refugees for years. NSA warns Afghan collapse if the west doesn’t engage with Taliban and Afghan government in a timely manner.
He recalled that the West had remained engaged with the Taliban until recently. Their engagement, he said, resulted in the Doha agreement and helped the evacuation of foreign nationals from Afghanistan after the fall of Ashraf Ghani’s government.
World’s own interest to engage with the Taliban
He said it was in the world’s own interest to engage with Taliban, especially on their counterterrorism concerns. They should talk directly to the Taliban on their concerns, whether they are about human rights, inclusive government, or other issues. NSA warns Afghan collapse which would mean terrorism threat to return with much intensity and barbarity than before as the volatile Afghanistan amid security vacuum will become the flashpoint for international terrorism posing threat to the region and the world.
“If the world is interested in this conversation, it needs to happen directly with the new government. For influencing and molding governance in the way the world wants, it should have conversation with them. Without engagement that would not be possible,” he maintained.
Mr Yusuf warned that the consequences of abandoning Afghanistan would be dire. The country, he feared, could once again become a safe haven for terrorists.
He said: “If abandonment happens there would be a security vacuum (in Afghanistan). You already know ISIS (the militant Islamic State group) is already present there, Pakistani Taliban are there, Al Qaeda is there. Why do we risk a security vacuum?”