Islamabad, Sep 16 (PTI) Pakistan’s National Security Adviser Moeed Yusuf has said that the ‘wait and watch’ policy on recognising the Taliban regime in Afghanistan was flawed and could result in the economic collapse of the conflict-torn country.
The Taliban seized control of Afghanistan in mid-August, ousting the previous elected leadership which was backed by the West. The interim Cabinet announced by the Taliban consists of high-profile members of the insurgent group.
Several world leaders have announced they would see whether the Taliban fulfils its promises to the international community on issues like an inclusive Afghan government and human rights before giving their regime diplomatic recognition.
“Wait and see (regarding Afghanistan's new set up) means collapse,” Yusuf told the media on Wednesday, adding that a similar mistake was made in the 1990s.
He also recalled that the Western leaders had acknowledged the mistake and pledged not to repeat it.
Yusuf said the world in its own interest should talk directly to the Taliban on their concerns, including counterterrorism, human rights, inclusive government, or other issues.
“If the world is interested in this conversation, it needs to happen directly with the new government. For influencing and moulding governance in the way the world wants, it should have a conversation with them. Without engagement that would not be possible,” he said.
He warned that Afghanistan could become a terrorist safe haven again as a consequence of abandoning it.
“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?” he said.
Earlier this month, Pakistan rushed its powerful intelligence chief Lieutenant General Faiz Hameed to Kabul, amidst the Taliban struggling to finalise and install an inclusive government that would be acceptable to the international community.
A delegation of senior Pakistani officials led by the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Director-General stayed in Kabul to conduct discussions with the Taliban on the formation of the new government, which has a number of top leaders of the dreaded Haqqani Network, including UN-designated terrorist Sirajuddin Haqqani, as the interior minister.