‘Afghanistan doesn’t want conflict with any country, including India’ – Times of India

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ISLAMABAD: Afghanistan’s interim foreign minister Amir Khan Muttaqi, in an interview to BBC Urdu, has said that his country does not want conflict with any other country, including India. He added that the Islamic Emirate now controls the entire country and Daesh (the militant Islamic State group) has been eliminated from most of Afghanistan.
“We do not want Afghanistan to have a conflict with any other country or have challenges arise that could affect our nation. When we participated in the Moscow conference, the representatives of India, Pakistan and several other countries were also present. We had a positive conversation with New Delhi and others,” Muttaqi responded when asked about relations with India.
Calling Daesh a threat, the Afghan minister said the Taliban government has eliminated it from a major part of the country.
“Previously, 70% of Afghanistan was under the control of the Islamic Emirate and the Daesh only had presence in areas ruled by the former Afghan government. After the Taliban took over, the government took effective measures to control them and confine them to certain areas,” he added.
The Afghan minister further said that his country has been acting as a mediator between Pakistan and the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) on the desire of both parties.
“The two sides have not yet reached an agreement, but the process has had a good start, leading to the announcement of a month-long ceasefire,” Muttaqi said, adding that he was hopeful that the process would not face obstacles in the future and that relations between the Pakistan government and TTP would improve.
Dispelling the impression that women were being excluded from education and work in offices in Afghanistan, Muttaqi said: “Women have 100% inclusion in the health sector. They are also in the education sector. They are working in every sector where they are required. Our government has not fired any female official who had worked under the previous government.”
“We have no such policy to deny women of their rights in any field. Their salaries, as well as opportunities for education and employment, were also not affected,” he added.
Muttaqi claimed that the Taliban government has fulfilled the international community’s demand for an inclusive government. He said that since the Afghan government consisted of representation from all areas and ethnicities, the world should recognise it.
“The incumbent Afghan government comprises staff and workers from the previous set-up that come up to approximately 5,00,000 people. If the world had recognised the previous government as an inclusive government, then why not us? If they mean a cabinet representing all areas, then we have a minister from Panjshir. People from Badakhshan, Faryab, Kandahar, Nangahar and Kabul are also present in the cabinet. Therefore, every country has its own definition of an inclusive government,” he said.





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