Taliban regime will not “interfere” in the affairs of other countries (PM) – Manila Bulletin
KABUL, Afghanistan – Taliban co-founder and now Afghan Prime Minister Mullah Mohammad Hassan Akhund on Saturday pledged his government “will not interfere” in the internal affairs of other countries, and urged international charities to continue to offer aid to the war-torn country. .
Hassan’s audio speech broadcast on state television – his first speech to the nation since the Taliban took power in August – preceded next week’s meeting between the United States and the Taliban in Doha.
“We assure all countries that we will not interfere in their internal affairs and we want to have good economic relations with them,” Hassan said in a nearly 30-minute speech which came amid criticism on the networks. social for having remained silent since the Islamists took power, even as the nation faced serious challenges.
âWe are drowned in our problems and we are trying to obtain the strength to bring our people out of miseries and difficulties with the help of God. “
The Taliban seized power on August 15 after overthrowing the previous US-backed government, as Washington hastily withdrew its troops from the country after a 20-year war.
The former Taliban regime was overthrown in a US-led invasion after the September 11 attacks in the United States that were carried out by al-Qaeda, whose now-slain founder Osama bin Laden lived in Afghanistan at that time.
Hassan is a Taliban veteran who was a close collaborator and political advisor to Mullah Omar, the movement’s founder and its first supreme leader.
Said in his sixties, Hassan was Minister of Foreign Affairs and Deputy Prime Minister under the former regime of the movement between 1996-2001.
He was placed on a UN Security Council sanctions list linked to âacts and activitiesâ of the Taliban.
– Call for help –
The Hassan government faces a series of challenges, most notably reviving the country’s dilapidated economy which has been drained of international aid, which accounted for 75 percent of the national budget under previous US-backed governments. .
Inflation and unemployment have risen in Afghanistan, while the country’s banking sector has collapsed since the Taliban took control.
The financial crisis worsened when Washington froze around $ 10 billion in assets held in its reserve for Kabul, and deteriorated further after the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund cut off access to the Afghanistan funding.
United Nations aid agencies have warned that a major humanitarian crisis is unfolding in Afghanistan, with more than half of the country’s 38 million people expected to go hungry this winter.
The rapidly worsening situation forced Afghans to sell their household goods to raise funds for food and other basic necessities.
âWe call on all international charities not to withhold their aid and help our exhausted nationâ¦ so that the people’s problems can be resolved,â Hassan said in his speech, stressing that the problems facing the countries faced were the result of previous governments.
As the Taliban struggle to become a governing body, the group also faces a daunting challenge from the jihadist group Islamic State which has carried out several brutal attacks.
The US-Taliban talks are to address several issues such as tackling the threat from ISIS and Al Qaeda, as well as humanitarian aid to Afghanistan.
Discussions will also focus on how to provide safe passage out of Afghanistan to US citizens and Afghans who worked for Washington during the 20 Years War.
Washington has insisted that all financial and diplomatic support for the Taliban is based on certain conditions, such as the installation of an inclusive government and respect for the rights of minorities, women and girls, including education. .
âGirls’ education has resumed to a large extent and there is hope that education will be further facilitated,â Hassan said, indicating that she would be guided according to Islamic principles.
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