Taliban Express Their Appreciation to the World for the Promised Aid and Call on the United States to Show ‘Heart.’
The Taliban hailed the international community on Tuesday for pledging hundreds of millions of dollars in emergency relief to Afghanistan, and urged the US to show “heart” to the poor country.
At a donor conference in Geneva on Monday, countries pledged a total of $1.2 billion in help for Afghanistan, which was taken over by the hardline Islamist organization in a surprise attack last month that caught retreating US soldiers off guard.
Afghanistan, which is already highly reliant on aid, is in the midst of a financial crisis, with the new government unable to pay employees and food prices skyrocketing.
The regime’s acting foreign minister, Amir Khan Muttaqi, stated during a press conference that the Taliban will use donor money properly and use it to alleviate poverty.
“The Islamic Emirate will do everything possible to deliver this assistance to the needy people in a transparent manner,” Muttaqi stated.
He also requested that Washington express gratitude to the Taliban for allowing the US to complete a troop withdrawal and the evacuation of over 120,000 people last month.
He added that because America is such a large country, it requires a large heart.
Muttaqi claimed that Afghanistan, which is also suffering from a drought, has already received aid from Pakistan, Qatar, and Uzbekistan, but he did not elaborate.
He said he had discussed the coronavirus vaccine and other humanitarian issues with China’s envoy, with Beijing committing $15 million that will be available “soon.”
The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund have cut off Afghanistan’s access to funds since the Taliban took power, and the US has frozen cash in its Kabul reserve.
Despite worries of a return to the ruthless rule that characterized the previous Taliban administration from 1996 to 2001, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Monday that aid may be used as leverage with Islamist hardliners to force improvements in human rights.
“It is difficult to offer humanitarian assistance within Afghanistan without interacting with the de facto authorities,” UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told ministers in Geneva.
“At this point in time, engaging with the Taliban is critical.”
The Taliban have pledged a more moderate leadership this time, but they have moved quickly to suppress opposition, including firing into the air to disrupt recent women’s protests demanding the right to education and job.
Michelle Bachelet, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, said she was “dismayed by the lack of inclusivity of the so-called caretaker cabinet, which contains no women and few non-Pashtuns.”
Brief News from Washington Newsday in the United States.