The planned meeting between Taliban representatives and the Pakistani prime minister is a clear violation of Afghanistan’s national sovereignty, said Sibghat Ahmadi, spokesman for Afghanistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), on Sunday.
Ahmadi also said such a move also gave “recognition” to the Taliban.
He said that the Pakistani government did not consult with government over such a meeting and that Afghanistan has the right to contest such a move.
On Friday, the Afghan government lodged an official complaint with the United Nations about the planned meeting between Pakistani leader Imran Khan and senior members from the Taliban group.
The Afghan government argued that the Taliban officials invited to Pakistan are blacklisted by the UN and have a travel ban against them. Government said this was a clear violation of UN and international law.
“It is a clear violation of the sovereignty of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. The national sovereignty is our redline, so we will deal with the issue from various forums. The Pakistanis did not coordinate this with us, this is somehow in recognition of the Taliban,” said MoFA spokesman Sibghat Ahmadi.
While there are some reports indicating that the meeting between Pakistani prime minister and the Taliban has been postponed, Afghan officials feel such a meeting would violate the country’s sovereignty.
“Yes, we have lodged a complaint with the UN over a trip by the Taliban delegation to Islamabad and the meeting with Pakistan’s top official; there are UN sanctions against members of the Taliban delegation which does not allow them to travel,” added Ahmadi.
This comes as reconciliation efforts are stepped up on the part of various stakeholders, including the US.
A source said meanwhile there is a possibility that the US’s Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad could meet Taliban representatives in Islamabad, Pakistan, soon.
Commenting on this possibility, Bilal Ahmad Niazi, a political activist, said: “Our expectation is that this meeting opens the way for the start of intra-Afghan dialogue.”
However, there have been rumors circulating that there is an internal rift in Taliban over the planned meeting with Khan.
“From amongst thousands in the Taliban ranks, it is possible that some people oppose the meeting in Islamabad, but in principle, the group has accepted the meeting,” said Hassan Haqyar, a political activist.
Reports were also received that Taliban members will meet the Saudi crown prince Mohammad Bin Salman during his official trip to Pakistan this week. However, no official sources have so far confirmed such a meeting.
On February 7, the Afghan government lodged a similar complaint with the UN over a recent trip by members of the Taliban to Moscow.
The Afghan government said that Russia allowed the group’s members to enter the country despite them being on the UN’s blacklist.
Led by Taliban’s chief negotiator Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai, ten senior officials from the group travelled to Moscow for talks with Afghan politicians.
The meeting in Moscow continued for two days on February 4 and 5 and then a joint declaration was announced by the delegates in which they outlined a nine-point approach to promote “intra-Afghan” dialogue aimed at finding a political settlement to the conflict in the country.