The unending Afghan humanitarian crisis

Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has stressed the significance of continuing international engagement with the interim Afghan government for lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan and beyond. During the meeting with US Special Representative for Afghanistan, Mr. Thomas West, Foreign Minister said that a peaceful, stable, and prosperous Afghanistan is a priority for Pakistan.

According to the details, the Foreign Minister highlighted Pakistan’s facilitative efforts in building regional consensus on the way forward in Afghanistan, including through the Extended Troika mechanism and other regional and global initiatives. Bilawal also highlighted various steps taken by Pakistan to support bilateral engagements with Afghanistan, and extensive facilitation of international humanitarian assistance for its neighboring nation. While referring to a recent prediction by the United Nations and international agencies regarding the intensity of the ongoing humanitarian crisis in impending winters, the Foreign Minister stressed that such a scenario could result in a mass refugee exodus and provide fertile ground for the exploitation by terrorists/extremist elements that will have broader repercussions for the region and beyond. According to reports, the US Special Representative for Afghanistan appreciated Pakistan’s efforts for peace and stability in Afghanistan and acknowledged the need for continued cooperation and engagement of the international community to alleviate the sufferings of the people of Afghanistan.

One year after the change of regime in Kabul, the people of Afghanistan are still battling hunger, scarcity of medicines, a lack of employment and livelihood, along with scourges of the COVID-19 pandemic, torrential rains, and flooding in various parts of the country. Unfortunately, the ruling Taliban government failed to provide any kind of economic relief to Afghans due to political reasons because no nation had recognized Taliban rule in Afghanistan while the Taliban also made no efforts to forge a consensus with domestic political rivals which was likely to promote peace and stability in the country besdies paving a way for global recognition of Taliban led Afghan government in the country. The reimposition of global economic and travel sanctions agaisnt Taliban leaders along with the freezing of Afghan national assets abroad had created a bulwark for the Taliban government over the past year. Realistically, the Taliban government lacked requisite finances, efficient institutions, governance skills as well as political tact to deal with the grave challenges confronting them,hence they could not restore peace, political and economic stability along with reinstatement of public belief in their government over the past year.

Pakistan had always remained concerned over the diminishing law and order situation and deteriorating humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan while being a first-door neighbor and a tested friend of the people of Afghanistan, it had always played an active and constructive role in the mobilization of the Muslim Ummah and global community to reduce the suffering of Afghans over the past four decades. Currently, Pakistan is stressing the world and international humanitarian organizations to stay engaged with South Asian nation as a freezing winter is coming ahead which would have disasterouis affects on devisted Afghans, who lack shelter and livelihood and have insufficient resources to survive through the acute weather conditions. Although, Pakistan is making concerted efforts to help facilitate Afghans hence Afghan leadership must feel misereis of its countrymen and come up with collective wisdom and imaginative strategies to resolve Afghan issues once for all.