Pakistan not to recognise
Taliban govt until honours
rights pledges: Asad Majeed


WASHINGTON: Pakistan is monitoring the ability of the new Taliban government in Afghanistan to deliver on the commitments and promises to uphold human rights that they have made to the international community before extending recognition to it, Ambassador Asad Majeed Khan has said.

“Whether the Taliban actually abide by those (commitments) is their call,” the Pakistani envoy said in an interview with The Washington Diplomat, an independent monthly newspaper that servers the diplomatic community. “But we have basically laid out our expectations, which is that we want the rights of everyone to be respected,” he said when asked under what conditions Pakistan would recognize the Taliban government. “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

At the same time, Ambassador Khan 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. 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. “I can tell you that today, we are together on the same side in terms of our interests and expectations in Afghanistan: 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.”

WASHINGTON: A signature photographer being presented to Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States Dr. Asad Majeed by renowned Pakistani photographer Gulraiz Ghauri with Maliha Shahid, Press and Culture Attache.

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.”

Prime Minister Imran Khan had publicly extended the hand of friendship to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he said, noting that he chose to indulge in military adventurism. “The situation in Kashmir continues to be very bad. Pakistan wants to resolve all its disputes through engagement and dialogue. Our two countries have no other options but peace.”