Canada’s Foreign Minister holds talks on Afghanistan with his Pakistani counterpart

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The Canadian Foreign Minister Marc Garneau held wide-ranging talks on Afghanistan with his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi.

“Spoke with @SMQureshiPTI this morning to discuss the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan. Canada is actively working with partners to see how best we can support humanitarian efforts, stability and inclusivity for the Afghan people,” Garneau said in a statement posted on Twitter.

This comes as efforts are underway for the establishment of an inclusive government after the Taliban group overrun Afghanistan last month.

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan announced yesterday that he has initiated dialogue with the Taliban group to include Tajiks, Hazaras, and Uzbeks in the new government established in Afghanistan.

Khan informed regarding the launch of the talks with Taliban following a meeting with the leaders of the neighboring countries of Afghanistan in Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan.

“After mtgs in Dushanbe with leaders of Afghanistan’s neighbours & 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,” the Pakistani PM tweeted.

He also added “After 40 years of conflict, this inclusivity will ensure peace & a stable Afghanistan, which is in the interest not only of Afghanistan but the region as well.”

The Taliban group announced a new caretaker government earlier this month, almost three weeks after capturing Kabul city, with the caretaker cabinet mainly consisting of former and current Taliban leaders.

However, the international community has urged Taliban to live up to their promises and establish a more inclusive and representative administration.

“The lives of millions of Afghans will depend on how the Taliban choose to govern,” Deborah Lyons, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), said during a meeting of UNSC.

Describing the all-male cabinet as “disappointing”, Lyons said of the 33 names presented, many are the same figures who were part of the Taliban leadership between 1996 and 2001.

She also noted that the prime minister, the two deputy prime ministers and the foreign minister are under United Nations sanctions.

“The best, and still possible outcome,” she continued, “would be for the Taliban to demonstrate that they seek to create an Afghanistan where people do not live in fear, where those with talents are invited to participate in rebuilding their country, and where boys and girls, young women and men, can receive the sort of education that will allow this development to continue”.

Lyons also added that the Afghan people will still need the support of the Council and the international community.

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