UN official meets Afghan minister Sirajuddin Haqqani, discusses humanitarian aid

Sirajuddin Haqqani, who is one of the world’s most wanted terrorists is founder of the Haqqani network, which was designated as a terror group by the United States in 2012. Sirajuddin carries a bounty of USD 5 million on his head.
Kabul: Taliban fighters patrol a market in Kabul's Old City, Afghanistan, Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021.(AP)
Kabul: Taliban fighters patrol a market in Kabul's Old City, Afghanistan, Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021.(AP)
Published on Sep 16, 2021 07:46 PM IST
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Written by Harshit Sabarwal | Edited by Avik Roy, New Delhi

An official of the United Nations on Wednesday met Afghanistan’s new interior minister Sirajuddin Haqqani and held a discussion on the ongoing situation in the war-ravaged country after the Taliban’s takeover. The official also spoke to Haqqani on humanitarian aid.

Taking to Twitter, a Taliban spokesperson said on Thursday, “Sirajuddin Haqqani, Minister of Interior, IEA, met Head of United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) Deborah Lyons and her delegation yesterday. They discussed the ongoing situation of Afghanistan and humanitarian aids. The IEA Interior Minister stressed that UN personnel can conduct their work without any hurdle.”

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The UN mission in Afghanistan, on the other hand, said that during Wednesday’s meeting, Deborah Lyons stressed an absolute necessity for all UN and humanitarian personnel to be able to function without any threats or obstruction to deliver aid and conduct work for the people of Afghanistan.

Sirajuddin Haqqani, who is one of the world’s most wanted terrorists is founder of the Haqqani network, which was designated as a terror group by the United States in 2012.

Sirajuddin carries a bounty of USD 5 million on his head. He is suspected of carrying out a series of bombings in Afghanistan’s capital Kabul in 2008 and also plotting the assassination of former president Hamid Karzai.

Repeatedly, the Taliban have targeted the United Nations during the 20-year long military mission led by the US in Afghanistan.

In 2009, militants of the Islamic Emirate killed five UN foreign staff members in an attack on a guest house in Kabul, according to news agency Reuters. Two years later in 2011, seven UN staff members after protests erupted in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif. And in July this year, the UNAMA said that the main compound in Herat was attacked by anti-government elements, killing at least one security guard.

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As the Taliban gained control over Afghanistan in August, the UN has referred to the current situation as a humanitarian emergency of internal displacement and has said it will remain committed to delivering humanitarian assistance to millions of people in need.

Amid the growing humanitarian needs in the country, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres held a high-level conference on Monday where he urged the global community to offer a lifeline to millions of vulnerable Afghani citizens. “Development gains must also be protected to link the humanitarian response with the medium and long-term stability of Afghanistan. The rights, safety, and wellbeing of women and girls are an essential part of this link,” Guterres said.

(With ANI, Reuters inputs)

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Wednesday, December 01, 2021