New Delhi: “The good news…the Taliban are listening, and they are not insensitive to what is being said by neighbours and the international community,” claims the Pakistani foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, one of the biggest backers of the insurgent group.
But “how does he know they (Taliban) are listening?” asked the AP correspondent who interviewed Qureshi on the side-lines of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) session in New York on Wednesday. Qureshi has all the details of the future planning of the Taliban after all it is the Pakistani military establishment’s ISI that is running the show and right from the top- the Pakistani Prime Minister to radical extremists organisations are heaping praises over the Taliban and its regime.
In defence of the Taliban, Qureshi said the group has included a few members of minority ethnic Shia community – Tajiks, Uzbeks and Hazaras in their government to show the world their promise of an inclusive government. But changes are cosmetics and there is no woman in the Taliban regime.
“Yes, there are no women yet,” but let us let the situation evolve,” Qureshi told AP.
Interestingly, the Taliban had previously scoffed at Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan’s call for making change in the present “interim” government for an inclusive government, Reacting sharply, Mohammad Mobeen, a Taliban leader said that the group does not “give anyone the right to call for an inclusive government”.
“Our system is inclusive even if someone likes it or not. Like Pakistan to decide its own system. Does the inclusive government mean that the neighbours have their representatives and spies in the system? Like Pakistan, we reserve the right to have our own system,” Mobeen told Afghanistan’s Ariana TV.
But according to multiple sources, the group is under internal pressure. The Taliban are struggling to accommodate other senior and influential commanders in the ruling setup who have not yet found any place. According to an estimate, 13 members of the Taliban’s powerful Rahbari Shura also known as Quetta Shura are waiting to be included.
Pakistan is also waiting. Despite being the “patron” of the Taliban, it has not recognised their regime yet, unlike in 1996 where it was first to do so.
Tuesday, the UN said that the Taliban had sacked the Ghani appointed permanent rep, and , instead nominated Suhail as the new Afghan representative. The group asked the world body to allow their foreign minister to address the current session of the UNGA but since the Taliban regime is yet to get recognition, it was not possible. The Taliban’s deputy information minister Zabihullah Mujahid made it clear that the group would address international human rights concerns only after formal recognition by those countries.
“As long as we are not recognised, and they make criticisms over rights violations, we think it is a one-sided approach. It would be good for them to treat us responsibly and recognise our current government as a responsible administration,” Mujahid told the TOLO news.