Taliban to be judged on action, not words: UK PM Boris Johnson

Earlier in the day, Johnson spoke to his Pakistani counterpart Imran Khan on the situation as part of a series of phone calls made with world leaders to push for a coordinated strategy to deal with an imminent humanitarian crisis.
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson.(Reuters)
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson.(Reuters)
Published on Aug 18, 2021 04:30 PM IST
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By hindustantimes.com | Written by Shivani Kumar | Edited by Sohini Goswami, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday said the new Taliban regime back in power in Afghanistan will be judged based on their actions and not words. The statement came a day after the Islamic militant outfit promised a peaceful rule following its complete takeover of the war-torn country on Sunday. The insurgents, known for their radical and regressive laws, also said they will respect their rights within the framework of Sharia law.

"We will judge this regime based on the choices it makes, and by its actions rather than by its words, on its attitude to terrorism, to crime and narcotics, as well as humanitarian access, and the rights of girls to receive an education," Johnson said in the British Parliament which resumed after a summer break to discuss the prevailing crisis in Afghanistan.

Earlier in the day, Johnson spoke to his Pakistani counterpart Imran Khan on the situation as part of a series of phone calls made with world leaders to push for a coordinated strategy to deal with an imminent humanitarian crisis. During the call, Johnson told Khan that any recognition of the new government in Afghanistan should happen on an "international, not unilateral" basis.

The South-Asian nation has plunged into complete chaos after its Western-backed government collapsed following the withdrawal of US troops, two decades since it overthrew the repressive Taliban rule. With the Taliban seizing back power in the country and President Ashraf Ghani fleeing Afghanistan, world leaders are contemplating their stand on the Taliban regime as more and more images and stories of desperation emerge.

On Monday, Russia said it will first observe the action of the new authorities closely, "only then it will make the decision", while the Chinese government has said it will form "friendly" relations with the Taliban regime.

The head of the British Army also took a softer stance on the Taliban and said the world should give them the space to form a new government in Afghanistan and may discover that the insurgents cast as terrorists by the West for decades have become more reasonable. "We have to be patient, we have to hold our nerve and we have to give them the space to form a government and we have to give them the space to show their credentials," said Nick Carter in an interview with the BBC. "It may be that this Taliban is a different Taliban to the one that people remember from the 1990s," the chief of the defence staff added.

"But what we absolutely have to remember is that they are not a homogenous organisation - the Taliban is a group of disparate tribal figures that come from all over rural Afghanistan," Carter further said.

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Sunday, October 17, 2021