US threatens action if terrorists regain ground in Afghanistan

Ned Price says Washington is working with Pakistan to tackle terrorism: About attack on Pakistan Embassy, State Department says Taliban have failed to fulfill their commitments: US presses Taliban in talks, denounces 'despicable' public execution

By: News Desk
Published: 09:15 AM, 8 Dec, 2022
US threatens action if terrorists regain ground in Afghanistan
Caption: State Department spokesman Ned Price.
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The United States has warned Afghanistan that Washington would initiate an action if terrorists regain any ground in the Taliban-ruled country, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.

Addressing a news briefing on Wednesday, US State Department spokesman Ned Price warned Kabul of action if international terrorists are regrouped in Afghanistan, fearing the country may become a haven for militants again.

Responding to a question about concerned shown over the recent attack on Pakistan Embassy in Kabul, the State Department spokesman said the Taliban have failed to live up to their commitments in counterterrorism as well. "The US will take action if it sees international terrorists regrouping in Afghanistan. We will take action in a way that protects our interests," he added.

Washington is committed to its broader goal that terrorists and other militants aren’t able to use Afghanistan as a launching pad for attacks on Pakistan, he said, adding "The US is determined to work with our partners in the region, including Pakistan, to do what we can to take on the threat of terrorism in the region, and certainly the threat of terrorism that extends well beyond the region." 

Responding to a query regarding the public execution in Afghanistan, Ned Price said "We have seen reports that the Taliban have ordered judges to impose their interpretation of Sharia law. That includes public executions, amputations and floggings."

"It was an affront to the dignity and the human rights of all Afghans then; it would be an affront to the dignity and the human rights of all Afghans now,” he said.

Ned Price said Afghans continue to reject these actions by the Taliban, and the US is closely watching the Taliban’s treatment of the people of Afghanistan. The Taliban government's relationship with the US and the international community depends entirely on their own actions, he explained.

"It depends largely on their actions when it comes to human rights, when it comes to the rights of all Afghans, especially women, girls, minorities, and other marginalized communities in Afghanistan," he further elaborated.

The spokesman said that it is undeniable that the Taliban continue to seek relations with other countries and Afghanistan needs relations with the rest of the world. "This is a country that has been able to subsist for decades now with a hefty dose of international aid, development assistance, and humanitarian assistance. The people of Afghanistan – and Afghanistan itself—would not be in a position to have prosperity and stability, stability without continued international assistance," he said.

The United States is doing its part by providing humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan, he said, adding the Taliban recognize and know that they will need relationships with countries outside of Afghanistan to lend any degree of prosperity, of stability to their country, whether they like it or not.

If the Taliban wish to have any semblance of improved relations with the US, it will depend entirely on their conduct, the State Department's spokesman said. "It will depend entirely on what they do when it comes to those areas that are in our national interest. Human rights are a core interest of ours; the rights of women and girls, it’s a core interest of ours."

He said the Taliban have demonstrated that they are unwilling or unable to live up to the commitments they have made, not only to the international community but most importantly, to the people of Afghanistan.

The execution was announced just as the US pointman on Afghanistan, Thomas West, met in Abu Dhabi with a Taliban delegation led by their defence minister Mohammad Yaqoob, the son of the group's founder Mullah Omar.

West said he raised the "deteriorating human rights situation" including treatment of women and girls, who have been deprived education since the Taliban swept back into power.

"The country's economic and social stability and the Taliban's domestic and international legitimacy depend enormously on their treatment of Afghanistan's mothers and daughters," West wrote on Twitter.

The Taliban have said they plan to fully enforce aspects of Islamic law including stonings, floggings and the amputation of limbs from thieves.

The United States starting under former president Donald Trump's administration negotiated with the Taliban to seek security guarantees for the withdrawal of US troops, who left in 2021 after two decades on orders of President Joe Biden.

US mediators had initially sought assurances on rights from the Taliban but a tentative dialogue with a range of Afghans and the Western-backed government collapsed as the insurgents swiftly captured the country.

Categories : South Asia