Afghanistan neighbors asked to pressure the Taliban

Participants of Samarkand meeting asked to help remove the Taliban from power

In an open letter to the ministerial meeting of regional countries in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, the National Resistance Council for the Salvation of Afghanistan asked for more pressure on the Taliban and their help in establishing a “democratic” government in Afghanistan instead of the Taliban government.

The Council is comprised of mostly anti-Taliban jihadi leaders and officials of the previous government toppled by the Taliban in August 2021.

The 4th meeting between foreign ministers of Afghanistan’s neighbouring countries plus Russia is set to kick off on Thursday in Samarkand which is aimed at discussing further steps steps by regional partners to facilitate an Afghan political settlement and stabilize the humanitarian and socio-economic situation in Afghanistan.

In its open letter, the Council appreciated the leaders of the Samarkand meeting for not inviting the Taliban. But the Taliban’s acting foreign minister, Amir Khan Muttaqi, arrived today in the Uzbek city to attend the meeting and have bilateral talks with some foreign ministers on its side-line.

“Taliban currently hosts thousands of terrorists and regional and global extremist groups, and each of these groups are trained and equipped with the idea of global jihad and the establishment of an Islamic caliphate in neighbouring countries and the world,” the Council stated in the open letter, describing the existence of those groups under the Taliban’s umbrella as a “big threat” to the region and the world.

The Council asked the leaders of the meeting to “help and support the people of Afghanistan in removing them (the Taliban) from their current illegitimate domination and replacing them with a democratic and popular system.”

Pakistan, Iran, and China have respectively hosted the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd rounds of the ministerial meetings in 2021 and 2022. The regional initiative aimed at facilitating an Afghan political settlement was initiated in September 2021, shortly after the Taliban swept back into power in Afghanistan.