Photo: DAWN newspaper

China and Pakistan Ask Taliban to Form Inclusive Government and Combat Terrorism

KABUL, AFGHANISTAN – China and Pakistan have jointly called on the Taliban to form an inclusive political framework, adopt moderate policies, and combat terrorism in Afghanistan.

In a joint statement shared by Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Sunday, June 9, following Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s four-day trip to China, both countries urged the Taliban to prevent Afghanistan’s territory from being used for terrorist activities.

According to the statement, both sides agreed to enhance communication and coordination on Afghanistan-related matters and play a constructive role in assisting Afghanistan in achieving stable development and integration into the international community.

“Both sides encourage the interim government of Afghanistan to build an inclusive political framework, adopt moderate policies, pursue good-neighborliness, and firmly combat terrorism, including not allowing its territory to be used for terrorist acts,” part of the statement reads.

Despite the Taliban’s desire for greater engagement with the region and the wider world, the fundamentalist regime has maintained its hardline policies, denying women and girls access to education and employment opportunities and dismissing calls for more inclusivity and efforts to combat terrorism.

Afghanistan remains largely isolated from the international community, as the Taliban regime has yet to be recognized by any country. This is mainly due to concerns regarding the establishment of an inclusive government, the protection of human rights, particularly those of women and girls, and the severing of ties with terrorist organizations.

This is not the first time that China, Pakistan, and many other countries have called on the regime in Afghanistan to form an inclusive government in the country and to prevent Afghanistan’s territory from being used for terrorist activities.

In February last year, during a meeting with his Iranian counterpart, Chinese President Xi Jinping urged the ruling regime in Afghanistan to establish a government that represents all ethnic groups and political parties in the country.

They also called on the Taliban to revoke all discriminatory measures against women, ethnic minorities, and other religious groups in Afghanistan.

Moreover, during a meeting with Taliban authorities in Beijing last April, Liu Jinsong, Director of China’s Foreign Ministry’s Asian Department, urged the Taliban to address the legitimate concerns of the international community regarding the establishment of an inclusive government in Afghanistan.

Pakistan, on the other hand, while advocating for the establishment of an inclusive government in Afghanistan, also worries about the Taliban’s strong ties with its adversary, the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). The TTP has intensified its deadly attacks against Pakistani security forces since the Taliban’s return to power in Afghanistan.

Pakistan claims that leaders and militants of the TTP are hiding in Afghanistan and receiving training and advanced military equipment to launch cross-border attacks. It has consistently urged the Afghan Taliban to take decisive action against the militant group and hand them over to Islamabad.

However, the Taliban have responded to previous calls for forming an inclusive government and addressing terrorism ties by claiming that their government is inclusive and that government inclusivity is an internal matter. The regime also claims that there are no terrorist groups operating in Afghanistan and that the country poses no threat to other nations.