Ismail Khan urges global pressure on Taliban for ‘intra-Afghan talks’

Mohammad Ismail Khan, a former Jihadi leader, on Tuesday urged the international community to exert pressure on the Taliban to facilitate an opportunity for intra-Afghan talks.

Expressing his belief that the world is growing weary of the Taliban, Khan, who addressed the Herat Security Dialogue in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, emphasized that persistent efforts to perpetuate tyranny would only bolster the strongholds of “resistance”.

Khan, who actively fought against the Taliban in August 2021, sought refuge in Iran following the fall of Herat to the Taliban. Now, more than two years since the Taliban’s return to power, he maintains that beating the drum of tyranny will fortify the resistance.

“Beating the drum of tyranny and systematic discrimination will only strengthen the strongholds, pulpits, and houses of resistance,” he stated.

The 11th Herat Security Dialogue in Dushanbe extensively discussed the report by the United Nations special coordinator, Feridun Sinirlioglu.

Karim Amin, a member of the leadership of the Hizb-e-Islami party led by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, provided insights into Sinirlioglu’s efforts, stating, “Mr. Feridon Sinirlioglu, on behalf of the United Nations, traveled to 15 provinces during three months and asked for their representatives from 17 provinces. They negotiated with three hundred people inside and outside Afghanistan.”

Former British ambassador to Afghanistan Nicholas Kay emphasized the need for the international community to support Sinirlioglu’s UN-mandated assessment.

“The international community now should get behind the United Nations’ assessment that has been done by Mr. Sinirlioglu, contains many good elements to be debated, some controversial, but the proposal to have a special envoy, a structure of contact group, to help bring together international coherence and then to help the Afghans bring together Afghan together Afghan coherence is a good proposal and I hope it will be supported,” he stated.

Sinirlioglu’s assessment, presented to the UN Security Council this month, puts forward key recommendations for Afghanistan’s political future.