Afghanistan rushes to collapse, say Sweden, Pakistan – .

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Afghanistan rushes to collapse, say Sweden, Pakistan – .



Afghanistan plunged into crisis after the hardline Islamist movement of the Taliban ousted the West-backed government in August, triggering the abrupt end of billions of dollars in aid to its aid-dependent economy.

“The country is on the verge of collapse and this collapse is happening faster than we thought,” Swedish Development Minister Per Olsson Fridh told Reuters in Dubai.

He said the economic free fall could provide an environment for terrorist groups to develop, but Sweden would not channel money through the Taliban, but instead increase its humanitarian contributions through Afghan civil society groups.

Many countries and multilateral institutions have halted development aid but increased humanitarian aid since August, reluctant to legitimize the new Taliban leadership.

Pakistani Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry later told Reuters that direct engagement with the Taliban was the only way to avert a humanitarian catastrophe, and called for the release of billions of dollars in frozen Afghan assets. abroad.

“Are we going to plunge Afghanistan into chaos or are we going to try to stabilize the country?” He said in Dubai.

The pledge would also encourage the protection of human rights and the establishment of an inclusive constitutional government, he said.

Pakistan has close ties to the Taliban and has often been accused of supporting the group as it fought the US-backed government in Kabul for 20 years – accusations Islamabad denied. Swede Fridh said the Taliban had so far failed to prove that they had abandoned the oppressive policies that marked their previous period in power from 1996 to 2001.

He also said the conditions were not right for European countries to reopen their embassies in Kabul.

Instead, more diplomatic activity would take place in Qatar, an important interlocutor between the West and the Taliban.

Fridh met with Qatari officials in the capital Doha this week.

But Chaudhry said it was time for the United States, China and other great powers to establish a framework for the formal recognition of the new Afghan leadership and for the lifting of United Nations sanctions against members of the Taliban, including including some members of the new government.

This, coupled with direct economic aid, was the only way to avoid instability, he said, adding: “The watch on that bomb is already clicking. “

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