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Kabul welcomes Pakistan’s move to sanction Taliban leaders

AT News

KABUL: The government of Afghanistan has welcomed Pakistan’s surprised-decision to impose sanctions on the Taliban leaders, saying that Islamabad should have taken such steps long time ago to help out terrorism campaign in the region.

The Pakistani foreign ministry said that it would implement the 2,255 code resolution of the UN Security Council. Based on this resolution the assets, weapons and ammunition of the Taliban leaders would be placed into sanction.

But a spokesman for President Ashraf Ghani, Dawa Khan Menapal underlined the need of Pakistan’s sincere steps in combating the terrorism.

“Afghanistan’s demand from Pakistan is very much clear; the sanctuaries and supporter of terrorism is in their soil,” he said. “We want an honest action by the government of Pakistan against terrorist groups.”

The Taliban also reacted to Pakistan’s decision, saying such acts would not make any hurdle on the path of the peace process.

The Washington Post quoted the militants Qatar based spokesman, Suhail Shaheen as saying that sanction on members of the negotiation team will not affect the peace process.

“These sanctions are from the past and these sanctions have been temporarily removed by the UN Security Council on members of the negotiation team and leadership of the group,” he said. 

The Associated Press said that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo would make a visit to Central Asia to Qatar, where the Taliban maintains a political office, to hold talks with the Taliban representatives on American troop withdrawal and intra-Afghan negotiations.

But the question is why Pakistan didn’t implement the UN Security Council’s decision in 2015?

Pakistan was placed in a grey list last year for providing financial support to the terrorist groups and paving safe havens for them in its soil.

Some experts believe that Pakistan took actions to sanction the Taliban leaders because of fear of possible inclusion in a black list of the UN Security Council.

Shoib Rahim, an economist said, “Undoubtedly, this is part of the process. Before the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) held a summit, they (Pakistani officials) are trying to show the world that they are not protecting the terrorism.”

But there are concerns that how effective would be the issuance of sanctions on the Taliban, as the Afghan government seeks to press the Taliban from various sides amid a historic peace process.

Many Taliban leaders including the Haqqani Network affiliates are living in Pakistan and enjoy safe havens there for almost two decades. Some Pakistani media reported the militants even started investment and doing business in Pakistan.

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