Photo: Asif Durrani via Twitter

Pakistani envoy discusses Taliban recognition with UN special coordinator on Afghanistan

Pakistan’s Special Representative on Afghanistan, Asif Durrani, recently met the UN Special Coordinator on Afghanistan, Feridun Sinirlioğlu, to discuss the recognition of the Taliban, among other things.

Durrani said in a tweet that the meeting took place on Monday, indicating that both sides also discussed the issue of Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) sanctuaries, women’s rights, and the frozen assets and banking restrictions.

The Taliban has not been officially recognized by a foreign government. The international community has pressed the Taliban to respect human rights, particularly the rights of women and girls, on top of other things, for the group to be recognized.

Since the Taliban takeover in August 2021, the US has frozen nearly $9.5 billion in assets belonging to the Afghanistan central bank in an effort to sway the Taliban from accessing the money.

Moreover, the Pakistani envoy highlighted the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan during his meeting with the UN Special Coordinator on Afghanistan.

According to the UN, the humanitarian crisis has worsened in the country, threatening over two-thirds of the population, approximately 28.8 million people who require urgent humanitarian assistance.

Durrani’s meeting with Sinirlioğlu comes shortly after his meeting with top Taliban officials in Kabul last week, where he discussed matters of regional peace and stability.

Islamabad has been pressing the Taliban to adhere to their commitments under the Doha Agreement to prevent terrorists from using Afghanistan’s soil to threaten Pakistan and other countries. Taliban has, however, denied Pakistan’s accusation that the TTP or other groups are using the country’s soil for cross-border terrorism.

Additionally, the Taliban has urged Pakistan to pursue peace talks with TTP instead of using violence against the militant group.