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SOURCE: ANI

Afghanistan Ambassador to India Farid Mamumdzay has called the suppression of women’s rights in Afghanistan by the Taliban ‘unfortunate’, adding that he hopes that the Taliban would reconsider and revisit their policies and allow Afghan women the right to education and work. “It’s very unfortunate to see the kind of treatment given by the Taliban to the Afghan women in the past few months, in particular. Afghan women had been a great story of success.

They had been part of the social-economic growth in the country in the past 20 years. In seeing those gains being erased, and those liberties being taken away from them is really tragic. We hope that Taliban would reconsider and revisit their policies and would allow Afghan girls, Afghan women to both education and work,” said the Afghan envoy in an exclusive interview with ANI.

Calling the recent news of the Taliban allowing some women to work in NGOs encouraging, the envoy hopes that Afghan girls would be going to schools too, soon. “There’s been some encouraging news since yesterday. Taliban now allowing Afghan women to work back in NGOs is a very positive development. We hope that they would also allow Afghan girls to go to school in the coming weeks and they would be given the human and legal Islamic right to do things whether it is getting an education or continuing with the employment,” he added. Hailing India’s humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan, the envoy said that India’s aid came at a very critical time, but at the same time the country needs more help in form of development and humanitarian assistance.

“India has supported Afghanistan in a very difficult time We are grateful for India’s generous contribution by giving us 40,000 metric tonnes of Wheat, by giving us more than 30 metric tonnes of life-saving medicine and half a million covid vaccines. India’s support came at a very critical time, but at the same time Afghanistan require more assistance, more development aid, more humanitarian Aid”, said the envoy. “The country is going through a very difficult humanitarian crisis at the moment. Our appeal, to the Indian government, is for more support. We do require more food assistance, winter shelter, and medicine at least for the coming few months.

The aid is reaching the targeted communities through the UN agencies. So, the support is distributed through the right channels by very accountable entities, through very transparent and accountable manner and I hope that support will continue in the weeks ahead,” he added. Responding to the question of when we can expect full diplomatic relations restoration between the two countries after the Taliban take over, the envoy stressed the fact that “the Indian government would be in the right position to answer the question.” He added that “as long as Taliban do not embrace an inclusive system of governance, as long as they keep their government limited to Taliban alone, it will be very difficult to win credibility at home, and unless they have no credibility at home, there is going to be very little chances to have any legitimacy from any functioning or real democratic country in the world.” “The world has made it clear to the Taliban to allow an inclusive, government, inclusive political system, where they would be represented from all across the country. …We hope that the sooner Taliban decide the better of Afghanistan, the better that would be for the country,” added the Afghan envoy. Speaking about the trade relationship between India and Afghanistan, the enjoy said that it is an area where we have seen the least interruption and hoped that trade between the two countries would continue. “Trade is one area where we have seen very least interruption over the past 12 months. There has been regular trade between India and Afghanistan as compared to the previous year.

The level of trade remains the same as it was a few years ago. There’s been an export of 120,000 metric tons of dry fruits from Afghanistan to India, and the level of trade remains the same,” the envoy said. He hoped that the trade would continue which will benefit, common traders in both countries and that trade would continue uninterrupted. Stressing the difficult economic situation in the country, the envoy highlighted that there has been a dramatic drop in the first few months, but then with the support of the International Community, the exchange rate was stabilized. “We are facing a difficult economic situation. The currency has devalued by a reasonable percentage from around 80-81 to almost 88-89 or 90 against 1 dollar. So, there has been a drop in the value of the Afghan currency in the first few months. But then with the support of the International Community, the exchange rate was stabilized,” said the envoy. “Generally, the level of unemployment is high, prices of basic commodities have increased in the past six twelve months and more and more people are taking the resources to safe, places or countries, where they think their resources and assets would be safe. So, we are faced with a difficult economic situation. There is very little investment and very little foreign funding.

The economy is faced with a difficult situation. And unless there is political stability, there is political clarity on the future of Afghan polity, there’s going to be a difficult economic situation,” he added. The envoy regretted the recent reports of the Taliban’s atrocities where it publically flogged nine convicted of robbery and Sodomy in Ahmad Shahi Stadium in Kandahar and said that procedures should have taken place before implementing such orders which have sent shock waves around the world. “This sent shock waves across the region and across the world.

There was a legal and judicial system in place for the past two decades. The demand of the Afghan people has always been that legal procedures should have been followed, the right course of Justice should have taken place, and such treatment of these people could have been avoided and more proper and thorough proceedings should have taken place,” said the envoy. Talking further on the recent tensions between Afghanistan and Pakistan, the envoy said that “It’s unfortunate to see the relationship going to that low where a country that has been the victim of terrorism for so many years has been blamed for something where ordinary Afghan had no doings in it.” Earlier this month, tensions between Islamabad and Kabul peaked when Pakistan threatened to attack the TTP hideouts inside the territory of Afghanistan.

The Afghan Taliban administration further rejected Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah’s remarks pertaining to the outlawed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan’s (TTP) hideouts in Afghanistan, calling them “provocative” and “baseless”. “Those claims have been categorically rejected by the Taliban authorities and it’s hard to see such statements from such senior political figures in Pakistan. I think a more reasonable and responsible approach would be required from a neighbouring country to treat its neighbour with the required level of dignity and respect” the envoy said in response to this. On being asked if the world will give the Taliban recognition, the envoy said that “they need to make the right and reasonable decisions, act as responsible rulers of Afghanistan and the legitimacy at home first and then that would pave the way for winning International diplomatic recognition”.

“In order to win recognition or earn recognition, you need to earn legitimacy at home. The Afghan people and the Afghan public have not yet given legitimacy to the Taliban. More than half of the Afghan population has been denied their rights to education, and employment,” he said. Mamumdzay asked why Afghan citizens are still leaving Afghanistan in big numbers. “Why is that happening? Why are so many people leaving Afghanistan? It’s because of the way the political, the economic Security Condition are there in the country.

Taliban are responsible for it. They need to make the right and reasonable decisions and act as responsible rulers of Afghanistan and the legitimacy at home first and then that would pave the way for winning International diplomatic recognition. Unless they earn legitimacy at home, it would be very difficult to get recognition from many countries,” said the envoy. Expressing his optimism of democracy prevailing in Afghanistan one day, the envoy said that the Afghan people are resilient and they will be able to overcome challenges.

“The Afghan people are resilient people. They’ve been able to overcome many such challenges. I think we still have a chance that we would be able to resolve our differences in the months and years ahead and they would be a peaceful prosperous Afghanistan as part of the international community living in peace and harmony both in the region and providing their assurance to the wider world,” said the envoy. Speaking about the relationship between India and Afghanistan, the envoy said that the two countries “have had an excellent relationship with India” which has always stood by the Afghan people. “I have no doubt that this relationship would strengthen in the years and decades ahead, we always have a soft heart for Indians, for India. Afghans admire Indo-Afghan friendship, and I hope that Spirit would continue,” the envoy added.