UN calls for a united, inclusive and representative new government in Afghanistan  

The Taliban issued a general amnesty to all government employees on Tuesday. It also promised the formation of a new government soon

August 17, 2021 by Peoples Dispatch
Photo: Xinhua

On Monday, August 16, a day after the Taliban’s takeover of power in Kabul, the United Nations Security Council held an emergency meeting. During the meeting, the UN sought the formation of a new united and representative government in Afghanistan through inclusive negotiations. It also asked for the “full, equal and meaningful participation of women” in the new government.

The press statement also called for the end of all hostilities in the country and the restoration of order and a peaceful settlement through an “Afghan-led, Afghan-owned process of national reconciliation.”

Speaking at the meeting, the UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres asked the members of the council and the international community to stand together to “suppress the global terrorist threat in Afghanistan and to guarantee that basic human rights will be respected.” He also said that “regardless of who holds power, these two fundamental principles … must be upheld.”

The Russian ambassador to the UN, Vassily Nebenzia, said that a large-scale bloodbath among the civilians had been avoided during the Taliban take over. He said that, instead of panicking, all Afghan parties should “foster a settlement peacefully.” The Chinese representative called on the Taliban to make a clear break with terrorist organizations.

A new government soon

Meanwhile, according to Tolo News, the deputy leader of the Taliban, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, said that the group is discussing the formation of a new government in Afghanistan, which will be announced soon. Taliban officials in Kabul said they are waiting for the foreign troops to leave to make the announcement. 

The Taliban issued a general amnesty to all government servants and asked them to resume their duties from Tuesday in a bid to create normalcy, Xinhua reported. It also asked women to be part of its government. Taliban representatives met several other stakeholders, including foreign nationals, and assured them of security. 

The Kabul international airport, which witnessed chaos on Monday, was reportedly cleared, and some flights started operating. At least seven people were killed when hundreds tried to board a US air force plane while it was taking off.  

Biden defends pull out 

Facing growing criticism of its messy withdrawal from Afghanistan, president Joe Biden tried to defend the decision on Monday saying that, “there was never a good time to withdraw.” He said he learned this the hard way. 

Referring to the Taliban’s quick take over, Biden said that, “American troops cannot and should not be fighting in a war and dying in a war that Afghan forces are not willing to fight for themselves.”

Amidst the fear of the Taliban’s possible retribution against sections of Afghans, opposition politicians and rights groups asked the US to make the process for refugees seeking asylum simple. Medea Benjamin of CODEPINK said in a tweet that the US must participate in the UN humanitarian relief in Afghanistan and “ease the visa process for Afghan refugees.” She also demanded accountability for “Afghans and Americans killed and maimed, the trillions lost” in the 20 years of “epic failure” in Afghanistan.