Pakistan’s top diplomat urges Taliban to flood aid, be patient

Pakistan’s foreign minister says the international community should work with Afghanistan’s ruling Taliban, not against them, when it comes to combating foreign extremist groups and the economic and humanitarian crises in that country – even That many US officials say the Taliban has proved itself inept as such. help.

Pakistan’s top diplomat Bilawal Bhutto Zardari spoke to news agency The Associated Press In the final days of a visit to the UN General Assembly in New York and Washington, which has focused on trying to draw more world attention to the unprecedented flooding, in which a third of his country is under water.

Incessant monsoon rains have killed more than 1,000 people in Pakistan, causing tens of billions of dollars in damage and destroying the country’s main food and commercial crops, scientists say. Pakistan is one of the many countries hardest hit by climate change that has become more vocal in seeking more financial aid from wealthy nations.

The past and present economic and industrial booms of China, the United States and other major economies are the biggest contributors to climate change, which is primarily caused by the burning of fossil fuels.

About 30 million people in Pakistan have been displaced by the floods, who are “actually paying for their lives and their livelihoods for the industrialization of other countries,” Zardari said. “And justice will be that we work together” globally, “that we are not left alone, to deal with the consequences of this tragedy,” he said.

Zardari is the son of former Prime Minister and former President of Pakistan. He became foreign minister in April. He met Foreign Minister Antony Blinken on Monday.

See also  US Justice Department issues revised Mar-a-Lago search affidavit

The Biden administration announced another $10 million in food aid for Pakistan on the same day, adding up to more than $56 million in flood relief and humanitarian aid this year. More broadly, though, the Biden administration and other governments of major economic countries have given only a tiny fraction of the $100 billion in annual aid they have given to less-wealthy countries to avoid drought, rising seas and other disasters of climate change. has promised to help. Switch to clean energy yourself.

“We expect the United States to be one of the leading players”, said Zardari, who approved a nascent proposal from the United Nations to allow developed nations to cancel existing debt in the form of climate aid.

“We haven’t yet seen – and that doesn’t mean we won’t see – the translation of this vision to practicality on the ground” in terms of overall climate support, he said.

Zardari, who spoke to him AP On Tuesday, Pakistan’s embassy also made controversial recommendations that the US work more directly with Afghanistan’s Taliban.

Pakistan and the United States have shared widely varying degrees of cooperation against violent armed groups that have taken refuge in Afghanistan for decades.

The US has long been at odds with several Pakistani officials over its sympathetic behavior and support for the Taliban. No country recognizes the Taliban, a group sanctioned as a terrorist organization that took power by military force in August 2021, as Afghanistan’s legitimate government.

The United States and the international community at large have sought to tackle billions of dollars in frozen Afghan Central Bank funds, institute financial reforms and deliver badly needed aid to ordinary Afghans with minimal involvement by the Taliban.

See also  David Popovici is the youngest person after Felpso to hold a swimming world record

“At the risk of hurting anyone’s sentiments, I think it’s important to mention that these funds are not Taliban funds, these are not Americans’ funds. These are funds that belong to the people of Afghanistan,” Zardari said. .

He said that economic isolation and privatization like Afghanistan has only fueled authoritarianism and extremism since the Taliban takeover. The best financial results would work through existing institutions, now in the hands of the Taliban, and not through “some sort of parallel government”.

Asked if he meant the US needed to hold its nose and deal with the power in Afghanistan, Zardari said, “Too much.”

Meanwhile, the US discovery that Ayman al-Zawahiri, the global leader of al-Qaeda, has taken refuge in the heart of Afghanistan’s capital since the Taliban returned to power, has led US leaders to condemn the alleged complicity of Taliban officials.

In July, the US killed Zawahiri in a drone strike.

Zardari said the Taliban did not yet have the time and capacity to deal with extremist groups as the government needed. “In order for them to demonstrate their willingness to counter terrorist organizations, we need to help them build their capacity to do so,” he said.