By Merve Berker
ANKARA (AA) - Noting that the political isolation of Afghanistan is not beneficial for anyone, Afghanistan’s acting foreign minister on Sunday urged the world community to support the country politically, diplomatically, and economically.
Speaking in Pakistan’s capital Islamabad at an exclusive Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) session on the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, Amir Khan Muttaqi said: “We assure the entire world and specifically Islamic countries that the territory of Afghanistan will not be used against anyone and we shall work in tandem to combat the cultivation and trafficking of narcotics.”
“All must acknowledge that political isolation of Afghanistan is not beneficial for anyone, therefore it is imperative that all support the prevailing stability and back it both politically and economically,” he said.
“We, as a representative and responsible government of the Afghan people, consider human rights, women rights, and participation by all capable Afghans from various regions our duty.
“We have done much in this regard and will continue to take further steps.”
“We must regretfully say that we continue to be the target of partisan propaganda by a number of media outlets whereby the present picture of Afghanistan is displayed in a distorted manner to the world.
“And this despite peace prevailing throughout Afghanistan after the 15th of August and none facing danger to their lives due to political or other factors,” Muttaqi said.
- Better governance
He said that every Afghan citizen now has the opportunity and right to “reside in their homeland without fear or threats” after almost 40 years of living in “instability and war”.
“It is the first time ever that Afghan detention centers are not holding any political prisoners,” Muttaqi said, adding: “All government departments have resumed operations in a very short period and are providing needed services.”
He also underlined that as many as 500,000 civil servants from the previous Afghan government keep working in different departments without facing any kind of discrimination or threat.
“People from all ethnicities, regions, and faiths see themselves reflected in the current government and we remain committed to broadening by providing a favorable opportunity of participation for professionals from all ethnicities and faiths,” he emphasized.
“Corruption and strongmen have been restrained, administrative corruption, usurpation, personal use of national resources, and islands of power have been eliminated,” he stated.
“Afghanistan, following many decades, finally has a government that is united and controls all territory,” Muttaqi stressed, adding that the current government “secured its geography and territorial integrity, established security, and does not pose a threat to any world country.”
He continued pointing out that the new ruling system “reserves the right to have formal relations with the world and be a responsible member of the wider international community.”
- Investment, support
Mentioning that Afghanistan is now a “very secure” country, Muttaqi stated that the Afghan government is hoping to speed up work on regional projects, and to complete the ones that were “half-done.”
He stressed that Afghanistan is an advantageous country for any kind of investment, urging foreign investors to invest in the country.
“We assure them of all necessary facilities. As a result of the prevalent security, Afghanistan can now transform into a hub of regional economic connectivity,” he added.
“At a time when our people have been devastated by wars, drought, the COVID-19 pandemic and poverty, billions of our dollar reserves have been frozen, and the suspension of development and assistance projects by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank (WB), Asian Development Bank (ADB) and other institutes have led to health, education and social services teetering on the brink. All of this has only harmed the general public,” he underlined.
“All these elements need urgent resolutions and we remain hopeful about jointly addressing them with the assistance of Islamic countries and international humanitarian organizations.
“We need urgent assistance in the short term and our compatriots need liquidity more than items in order to retain the value of the Afghani currency and to address their principle needs.”
“Fortunately, Afghanistan now has a responsible, non-corrupt, and committed government that shall safeguard Afghans from difficulties moving forward. As the developments are nascent and we face unjust sanctions, our people are in dire need of your support,” he added.
Asking the world to restore diplomatic relations with Afghanistan, Muttaqi said: “We welcome the return of diplomats from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to Kabul.”
He also urged the OIC member states “that have deferred reopening their embassies in Kabul to reopen their missions, and we shall welcome them.”
The Afghan acting minister said sanctions on Afghanistan and freezing of assets by the US are harming the Afghans, violating their human rights, and can be interpreted as enmity with an entire nation.
“We urge the participants of this great gathering to remind US officials that persecution of Afghans and weakening of the Afghan government is not in the interest of anyone,” he expressed.
“This is not conducive to improving ties. Such actions harm American prestige and exacerbate the refugee crisis, the detrimental effects of which will not spare the wider world,” Muttaqi said.