Imran Khan took the initiative after meetings in Dushanbe with leaders of countries neighbouring Afghanistan.
Gulf Today Report
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan says he has "initiated a dialogue" with the Taliban to prod them to form an inclusive government that would ensure peace and stability not only in Afghanistan but also in the region.
The statement by the premier came in a tweet after the conclusion of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit, where regional leaders, including Imran, met to discuss the situation in Afghanistan following the US withdrawal from the war-torn country.
On the sideline of the SCO Summit, Imran met the leadership of Afghanistan’s neighbouring countries and including Iran, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan
Imran tweeted on Saturday that he took the initiative after his meetings this week in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, with leaders of countries neighboring Afghanistan.
The Taliban last week announced an all-male interim government that includes no women or members of Afghanistan's minorities - contrary to their earlier pledges on inclusivity.
Emomali Rakhmon greets Imran Khan during the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Summit in Dushanbe. Reuters
They have also since moved to curb women's rights, harking back to their harsh rule when they were in power in the 1990s.
Imran says he had detailed discussions with Tajik President Emomali Rahmon on the sidelines of the SCO’s meeting in Dushanbe. The economic and security group is made up of China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, India and Pakistan.
"After meetings in Dushanbe with leaders of Afghanistan’s neighbours and especially a lengthy discussion with Tajikistan’s President Emomali Rahmon, I have initiated a dialogue with the Taliban for an inclusive Afghan govt to include Tajiks, Hazaras & Uzbeks” Imran said in the tweet.
He said "After 40 years of conflict, this inclusivity will ensure peace and a stable Afghanistan, which is in the interest not only of Afghanistan but the region as well.”
Other leaders at the conference had shared similar views, pointing out that Afghanistan's new interim cabinet almost exclusively comprised ethnic Pashtuns, the group's main support base, the report said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, who had spoken via a video link, noted that the new provisional government could not be called representative or inclusive, "as we do not see representatives of other ethnic groups there. But we believe we need to work with it."
Similarly, Chinese President Xi Jinping had said that it is necessary to "encourage Afghanistan to put in place a broad-based and inclusive political framework" and to "resolutely fight all forms of terrorism" and live in peace with its neighbours.
Government forces abandoned the Dawlat Abad district centre in Faryab province before dawn and fled to neighbouring Andkhoi district without engaging the militants, dpa news agency reported citing the local officials as saying.
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