Taliban authorities seek ‘engagement’ as they hold talks with UN envoy

Fifteen days after the Doha meeting about Afghanistan, United Nations’ special envoy for Afghanistan held talks with the Taliban’s deputy chief minister in which the Taliban had asked for engagement with the international community and participation of its representatives in key meetings on Afghanistan.

Taliban has also called for further engagement with the UN, according to a statement on Tuesday.

The meeting between UN special envoy Roza Otunbayeva and Taliban’s deputy chief minister Mawlawi Abdul Kabir happened in Kabul on Monday.

“I believe that Taliban’s request from the UN and the request from the UN, US, Russia, China and other countries from the Taliban are not effective to achieve something from it with the way they are conducted. There is a need to review this method,” said Mirza Mohammad Yarmand, former deputy minister of interior.

But a day after the meeting, a group of women protesters in an indoor protest in Kabul called on the UN to avoid any type of engagement with the Taliban.

“The United Nations should end its secret relations with the Taliban and should respect the Afghan people’s dignity. The people of Afghanistan will never recognize the Taliban terrorist group,” said a protester woman.

The meeting between UN officials and the Taliban happened as at least 3,500 employees of the UN in Afghanistan have been asked to stay at home or work from home over the Taliban’s ban on female employees of the international organization.

Meanwhile, a former military general called on the international community to take the Taliban accountable for its actions instead of attempting to engage with its administration in Afghanistan.

“All former military personnel from the republic government call on the United Nations to take Taliban accountable for its crimes against humanity and it should never think about its recognition,” said Gen. Farid Ahmadi, former commander of the Afghan army’s special corps.

The lack of commitment by the Taliban to people’s freedoms, women’s rights, and women and girls’ right to education, and its lack of attention to form an inclusive government and sever ties with terrorist groups are key matters that have been raised by the people and the international community to be addressed by the Taliban administration in Afghanistan.