Pakistan initiates dialogue with Taliban for inclusive Afghan government

Pakistan’s prime minister says he has initiated a dialogue with the Taliban to encourage them to form an inclusive government that would ensure peace and stability in Afghanistan and the region.

Imran Khan tweeted on Saturday that he took the initiative after his meetings this week in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, with leaders of countries neighbouring Afghanistan.

Last week the Taliban announced an all-male interim government that included no women or members of Afghanistan’s minorities, contrary to their earlier pledges on inclusivity. They have also since moved to curb women’s rights, harking back to when they were in power in the 1990s.

Khan said he had had detailed discussions with the Tajik president, Emomali Rahmon, on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation’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,” Khan said in the tweet.

“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.”

Khan did not say what form his dialogue would take or elaborate on his plans.