ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has called on the international community to separate humanitarian support to the war-stricken Afghan people from politics and sanctions, its special envoy said on Friday, following a meeting of the Moscow consultative format on Afghanistan.
The Moscow consultative format was launched in 2016 with an aim to promote political reconciliation between the then Afghan government of Ashraf Ghani and the Taliban, who were then at war against Afghan security forces and the United States-led forces in the country.
The two-day talks were to have representation from 11 countries, including Russia, China, Pakistan, Iran, India and Tajikistan, but Russian officials earlier this month announced that the Taliban would not attend the meeting, even though they participated in the last session of the Moscow format meeting in October 2021.
During the talks, Pakistan emphasized the importance of sustained engagement of the international community with the interim Afghan government, without prejudice to their political concerns.
“I underlined the importance of separating humanitarian support to Afghan people from politics & sanctions, under UNSC Resolution 2615 of 2021,” Pakistan’s special representative for Afghanistan Mohammad Sadiq said on Twitter.
“I advocated the need to generate economic activity within Afghanistan to ensure a sustainable economic future & rehabilitation.”
The Pakistani envoy urged the countries holding Afghanistan’s foreign reserves to find “realistic pathways” to unfreezing these assets for economic viability of Afghanistan.
Ambassador Sadiq also urged the Afghan interim government to address concerns of the international community regarding lack of political inclusivity, girls’ education and women’s rights, narcotics and challenges posed by regional and international militant groups.
Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov earlier said his government would conduct a detailed briefing for both the Taliban and other Afghan political forces, after the planned huddle in the Russian capital.
Lavrov was referring to former Afghan government officials and political leaders, who fled the country after the Taliban takeover in August 2021.
But the Taliban foreign ministry dismissed the Moscow talks as “incomplete” without its representation at the meeting.