Taliban reacts to US Bill
seeking sanction on their
govt and supporters

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KABUL (Afghanistan): Expressing its displeasure over a bill that seeks to impose sanctions on Taliban in Afghanistan, the outfit on Thursday stated that the imposition of sanctions on the Islamic Emirate will “repeat the failed policies” of the US in Afghanistan, local media said.

This comes after more than 20 US Senators on Tuesday introduced legislation to impose sanctions on the Taliban and the foreign governments that support the outfit. “Any sanction causes harm to Afghanistan’s interest and its people, and should not be imposed; the Taliban should be asked to engage politically with the international community,” political analyst Hekmatullah Hikmat was quoted as saying by TOLO News, reported.

Afghan nationals waiting at a gate on Pak-Afghan border to enter Pakistan

Afghanistan is “not capable of overcoming the sanctions because over 20 million people are in grave need of humanitarian assistance”, said political analyst Abdul Naseer Rishtia.

The legislation titled the ‘Afghanistan Counterterrorism, Oversight, and Accountability Act’, seeks to address the outstanding issues related to the Administration’s rushed withdrawal from Afghanistan.

“The chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan was as awful as it was avoidable. It was unwise and unrealistic for the Administration to stick to its arbitrary August 31st deadline, which resulted in hundreds of Americans and tens of thousands of our most loyal allies — drivers, translators, guides, and others — and vulnerable Afghans such as women leaders being left behind in Afghanistan in dire jeopardy,” said Senator Collins on the legislation introduced by Senator Jim Risch.

US Senate in session

An official release stated the new legislation would establish a US State Department task force to focus on the evacuation of American citizens, legal permanent residents, and Afghan Special Immigrant Visas (SIVs) who are still stuck in Afghanistan.

The bill also intends to probe into Pakistan’s support to the Taliban for the 2021 offensive that toppled the Afghan government. It further calls for an assessment of “support by state and non-state actors, including the Government of Pakistan.

US senators introduce legislation to impose sanctions on Taliban

About 22 US Republican Senators on Tuesday introduced legislation to impose sanctions on the Taliban in Afghanistan and the foreign governments that support the outfit. The law titled the ‘Afghanistan Counterterrorism, Oversight, and Accountability Act’, would address the outstanding issues related to the Administration’s rushed withdrawal from Afghanistan.

It mandates that the US Secretary of State must submit a report on the support extended by Pakistan to the Taliban to the congressional committees within 180 days of the enactment of this Act. The senators seek to assess Pakistan’s alleged role in Afghanistan before and after the fall of Kabul and in the Taliban offensive in Panjshir Valley.

Republican Senator Jim Risch

“The chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan was as awful as it was avoidable. It was unwise and unrealistic for the Administration to stick to its arbitrary August 31st deadline, which resulted in hundreds of Americans and tens of thousands of our most loyal allies — drivers, translators, guides, and others — and vulnerable Afghans such as women leaders being left behind in Afghanistan in dire jeopardy,” said Senator Collins on the legislation introduced by Senator Jim Risch.

“Our legislation would help hold the Administration accountable and prioritize the complete evacuation of Americans, SIVs, and refugees. Additionally, it would impose sanctions on the Taliban and its supporters, sending a clear message that the United States denounces the Taliban’s human rights abuses and terrorism.”

According to an official release, the new law would establish a US State Department task force to focus on the evacuation of American citizens, legal permanent residents, and Afghan Special Immigrant Visas (SIVs) who are still stuck in Afghanistan.

It would impose oversight mechanisms on the processing of SIVs and refugees. The law requires strategies for counterterrorism and for the disposition of Taliban-captured US equipment.

It also mandates sanction for the Taliban and others in Afghanistan for terrorism, drug trafficking, and human rights abuses. Moreover, authorize sanctions on those providing support to the Taliban, including foreign governments supporting the Taliban.

“States that the United States should not recognize any member of the Taliban as the ambassador of Afghanistan to the United States or as the ambassador of Afghanistan to the United Nations,” the release stated.

Furthermore, it calls for a comprehensive review of foreign assistance to entities that support the Taliban. Also, the law places restrictions on non-humanitarian foreign assistance to Afghanistan.

Building of US Senate in Washington

The first report shall include “an assessment of support by state and non-state actors, including the government of Pakistan, for the Taliban between 2001 and 2020,” including the provision of sanctuary space, financial support, intelligence support, logistics and medical support, training, equipping, and tactical, operation or strategic direction.

The legislation also requires “an assessment of support by state and non-state actors, including the government of Pakistan, for the September 2021 offensive of the Taliban against the Panjshir Valley and the Afghan resistance”.

“We continue to see the grave implications of the Biden administration’s haphazard withdrawal from Afghanistan,” Senator Risch said in a statement issued by his office. “We face a renewed terror threat against the United States, and the Taliban wrongly seek recognition at the United Nations, even as they suppress the rights of Afghan women and girls.”

Senator Risch said he was proud to introduce the legislation to address these concerns and rebuild America’s credibility. “I hope the committee will be able to mark it up soon so that we can quickly help those we left behind and protect America’s national security interests before it’s too late,” he added.

The proposed bill also seeks to impose sanctions on the Taliban and others in Afghanistan for terrorism, drug-trafficking, and human rights abuses, as well as on those providing support to the Taliban, including foreign governments.

It states that the US should not recognise any member of the Taliban as the ambassador of Afghanistan to the United States or as the ambassador of Afghanistan to the United Nations, and places restrictions on non-humanitarian foreign assistance to the war-torn country.

It also calls for a comprehensive review of foreign assistance to entities that support the Taliban.

The bill also seeks to establish a US State Department task force to focus on the evacuation of American citizens, legal permanent residents, and Afghan Special Immigrant Visas (SIVs) who are still stuck in Afghanistan, as well as impose oversight mechanisms on the processing of SIVs and refugees. It also calls for strategies for counterterrorism and for the disposition of Taliban-captured US equipment.