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Afghan Envoy to UN calls country's future 'bleak and opaque'

News Agencies | Updated on: 31 August 2022, 9:53 IST
Naseer Ahmad Faiq

Naseer Ahmad Faiq, Charge d'Affaires of Afghanistan Permanent Mission to the UN, said that the prospects for a prosperous and secure Afghanistan are "bleak and opaque", local media reported.

The Afghan official expressed the concerns during a UNSC session and said that the people have been affected by the combined effects of several natural disasters and "man-made catastrophes," which have led to Kabul experiencing the worst social, political, and humanitarian crisis, Khaama Press reported.

After the Taliban came to power, acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi in a letter to the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres introduced Suhail Shaheen as Afghanistan's ambassador to the UN. However, a nine-member committee of the UN, which included Russia and China, postponed the decision to consider allowing the Taliban to take the control of the seat.

The UNSC session was focused on the social and economic situation in Afghanistan.

During the session, Faiq discussed the "systematic erasure" of women and girls from society and public life, pointing out that during the Taliban regime, Afghan women and girls are denied access to their basic rights.

In addition to conceding a substantial decline in corruption and a reduction in civilian casualties, Faiq maintained that the Taliban's one-year accomplishments include the rise in poverty, mass migration, and unemployment.

He also voiced concern over Afghanistan being a "safe haven" for both international and regional terrorist organizations after the recent assassination of al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in Kabul.

Faiq urged the Taliban to uphold all citizens' human rights and to fulfill its pledges and international duties without discrimination based on gender or religious identity, according to Khaama Press.

This comes as Markus Potzel, the acting head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan stated that the Taliban seek international recognition based on their territorial control rather than complying with the international community's norms.

The Taliban took over Afghanistan on August 15, 2021. Since then, Afghanistan has seen the world's "worst" humanitarian crisis, with millions of people struggling to get food on the table while losing basic rights for women and girls. Taliban have imposed policies severely restricting basic rights--particularly those of women and girls. The group decrees prohibit women from travelling unless accompanied by a male relative and require women's faces to be covered in public--including women TV newscasters.

Moreover, the Taliban dismantled the system to respond to gender-based violence, created new barriers to women accessing health care, blocked women's aid workers from doing their jobs, and attacked women's rights protesters.

Several rights groups have called out the Taliban to implement major policy changes and measures to uphold the rights of women and girls. The Taliban had previously promised an inclusive society and equality during their first press conference after the takeover of Afghanistan, however, their actions reflect a different picture.

There are restrictions on movement, education and freedom of expression of women posing a threat to their survival.


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First published: 31 August 2022, 9:53 IST