Pakistan PM: World should give Taliban ‘time’ on human rights, ‘incentivize’ group
The world should give Afghanistan’s Taliban “time” to provide equal human rights in the country and protect them, and the international community should take an incentive-based approached when dealing with the group, Pakistan’s PM Imran Khan told CNN in an interview.
“It's a mistake to think that someone from outside will give Afghan women rights. Afghan women are strong. Give them time. They will get their rights,” Khan urged in CNN’s interview published on Wednesday.
The Taliban seized control of Afghanistan on August 15 and shortly after announced an all-male interim government made up of senior group figures.
Since taking over, the group launched a charm offensive to rehabilitate their hardline image of their 1996-2001 era, when women were not allowed to leave their homes without a male escort, had to be veiled, and were not allowed to work at most jobs except in healthcare.
The Taliban promised amnesty to Afghans who worked for foreign governments and vowed to protect the rights of women this time around.
However, the Taliban’s newly announced cabinet also doesn’t include a single woman and the Ministry of Women’s Affairs was apparently disbanded.
The Taliban also segregated between male and female students in educational institutes, separating them with a curtain in some classes, and assigning separate classrooms for each gender in other cases.
Senior Taliban figure, Waheedullah Hashimi, told Reuters on Monday that women should not be allowed to work alongside men.
Women activists and former female political leaders said they expected to be treated as “second class” citizens at best.
The Pakistani PM also stressed the importance of having an Afghan government rather than outside oversight over the country and how the world should “incentivize” the Taliban towards taking the right course of action
“No puppet government in Afghanistan is supported by the people. So rather than sitting here and thinking that we can control them, we should incentivize them. Because Afghanistan, this current government, clearly feels that without international aid and help, they will not be able to stop this crisis. So we should push them in the right direction,” he said.
Pakistan has deep historic ties with the Taliban. The country’s spy chief was one of the first foreign officials to visit Kabul earlier this month and a Pakistani senior official said that Lieutenant General Faiz Hameed could help the Taliban reorganize the Afghan military.
The US has long accused Pakistan of supporting the Taliban; a charge Islamabad denies.
Some reports claimed Pakistan's military forces helped the Taliban in the fight to capture Panjshir province from the National Resistance Front (NRF) led by Ahmad Massoud.