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Afghan diplomatic missions call for reinforcing travel ban on Taliban leaders

The mission says Taliban have re-enacted draconian policies

Representative image | AP Representative image | AP

The international community should reinforce the UN-mandated travel ban on certain Taliban leaders as the group has misused the exemptions, Afghan diplomatic missions across the world said on Monday on the first anniversary of the fall of the democratically-elected government in Kabul.

The missions, in a statement, said the Taliban have not only failed to deliver on their commitments but also "re-enacted draconian policies", including systematically erasing women from public life.

Most of the diplomatic missions of Afghanistan, including in India, are still functioning independently of the Taliban dispensation. At present, around 70 Afghan missions are operating.

The missions also said the killing of Al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri in Kabul last month affirmed that the Taliban are hosting and sheltering a "coterie" of foreign terrorist groups, which are threatening security and stability of Afghanistan, the region, and the wider world.

The Taliban seized power in Kabul on August 15 last year following the withdrawal of American troops and the collapse of the Ashraf Ghani government.

The missions put forward seven points for consideration by the international community to bring peace and stability in Afghanistan.

The points included reimposition of the travel ban on certain Taliban leaders and enlisting new individuals in the sanction regime, coordinated measures to address the "dangerous threat" emanating from the presence of foreign terrorist groups in the country and ensuring meaningful engagement to exert pressure on the group.

The missions specifically urged the international community to "reinforce the UN travel ban for concerned Taliban leaders, as the group has continuously misused travel-ban exemptions by refusing to engage in any meaningful dialogue for a political settlement".

The missions called on the international community and the UN to seek "pragmatic solutions" to the current economic, political and humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan through putting in place all necessary measures to meet the urgent needs of the people of Afghanistan.

"Afghan citizens are deprived of basic services and face grave human rights abuses and violations, poverty, repression, and fear," the missions said.

"Almost overnight, the Taliban militant group rolled back hard-won gains achieved through the joint effort and sacrifice of the people of Afghanistan and the international community since 2001," they said.

They said the Taliban have rejected consistent national and international appeals for the creation of an inclusive and representative government, which is critical for political stability.

The statement was released to the media by an official of the Afghan embassy in Delhi.

The missions said despite the "violent and illegitimate" nature of the Taliban takeover, they were offered the opportunity to deliver on commitments, including ensuring the fundamental rights of citizens and not allowing Afghanistan to become a safe haven for international terrorism.

The statement said many countries and international organisations adopted a policy of dialogue and engagement with the group in the hope that such interaction would positively influence the Taliban's approach and actions toward the people's expectations.

"One year on, the Taliban have not only totally failed to deliver on all their commitments but re-enacted draconian policies and directives," the missions said.

"Among others, the group has banned girls from attending secondary education and systematically erased women and girls from public life by restricting their fundamental rights to work and play an active role in society," the statement said.

The missions said preventing girls from education not only constitutes a "grave human rights violation" but also jeopardises the country's progress and future.

They alleged that "arbitrary detentions" including of women activists, forced disappearances and forced displacements, collective punishment, crackdown on media and extra-judicial killings became normal practice under the Taliban rule.

"These and other measures have perpetuated a climate of absolute fear and physical and psychological insecurity, forcing hundreds of thousands of Afghans to leave the country," the missions said.


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