Pak allows Taliban-appointed envoys to take charge in Afghan embassies: Report

Updated on Oct 30, 2021 04:19 PM IST

Taliban-appointed Sardar Muhammad Shokaib effectively is now the charge d’affaires in Islamabad.

Pakistan said the appointment of the Taliban-appointed envoys was an ‘administrative matter’.(Reuters/Representative Image)
Pakistan said the appointment of the Taliban-appointed envoys was an ‘administrative matter’.(Reuters/Representative Image)
Written by Shankhyaneel Sarkar | Edited by Poulomi Ghosh, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Pakistan allowed diplomats appointed by the Taliban-led government to take charge of the Afghan embassy and consulates in Pakistan, Dawn reported on Saturday.

The report also said that Sardar Muhammad Shokaib took charge as the first secretary in the Afghan embassy in Islamabad. Hafiz Mohibullah, Mullah Ghulam Rasool and Mullah Muhammad Abbas took charge of the consulates in Peshawar, Quetta and Karachi.

This move by the Pakistan government to grant visas to the appointed “diplomats” comes despite the nation not recognising the Taliban as the legitimate government in Afghanistan.

Sardar Muhammad Shokaib effectively is now the charge d’affaires in Islamabad.

The Afghan embassy in Islamabad has been without an ambassador since July. The former envoy under the government led by former PM Ashraf Ghani, Najibullah Alikhil, left because of controversy due to alleged abduction of his daughter Silsila Alikhil, news agency PTI reported.

A report by Voice of America said that Shokaib was an ethnic Pashtun from Zabul province who served in the information and cultural department in southern Kandahar and was also part of a Taliban magazine. He also worked as a Taliban spokesman under the name of Qari Yousaf Ahmadi and was arrested in Pakistan. He was a resident of Peshawar for several years, the report highlighted.

Pakistan said the appointment of the Taliban-appointed envoys was an ‘administrative matter’. “With regard to the appointment of new staff in the Afghan embassy, this is an administrative matter and is meant to enable the embassy to perform its functions, primarily the consular functions as you are aware there are millions of Afghan refugees in Pakistan and there are visa issues as well,” Pakistan foreign office spokesperson Asim Iftikhar said while trying to play down the appointments.

Most world leaders are sceptical about the Taliban fulfilling the promises it made when it took over Kabul forcing the Ashraf Ghani-led out. Pakistan on several occasions acted on behalf of Afghanistan's Taliba-led government, seeking humanitarian assistance as well as stressing other nations to establish economic and diplomatic ties with the terrorist group

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