Hamid Karzai, the former Afghan President, feels that the Taliban government in Kabul needs the mandate from people before it can be truly recognised as a legitimate government in the eyes of the world.
This, Karzai said, is possible only through elections or by holding the Loya Jirga–the grand assembly of representatives. He also wants that this process should be followed by setting up a constitution.
Karzai said that by doing either of these acts, the Taliban government will gain legitimacy in the eyes of the world. In a detailed interview with the Voice of America, Karzai spoke about the role of Pakistan, the threat that militant organisations like the IS pose to the world from Afghan soil and the rights of Afghan women.
Karzai spoke in the backdrop of increased Islamic State (IS) terror attacks in the country as well as the fact that the Taliban has completed two months since the takeover of Kabul without having been recognised by the world. Not even close allies like Pakistan, China or Qatar have recognised it as yet.
Taliban representatives in Beijing just before the militants took over Kabul in August (Photo: IANS)
Talking about recognition for the Taliban government, Karzai said: "How to bring about legitimacy within the country is of course premised on either an election or, in the case of Afghanistan, especially under the current circumstances, the expression of the will of the Afghan people through the Loya Jirga and the introduction of a constitution and so on".
He also said that though Pakistan has been advocating for the recognition of the Taliban government, Islamabad is not representative of the Afghan people. "My message to Pakistan, our brotherly country, is that they should not try to represent Afghanistan. On the contrary, the country should try to establish a civil relationship with our country".
Even as the president, Karzai had been critical of the Pakistani role in his country's affairs for supporting militants and fostering terrorism. Karzai underlined that Pakistan should not interfere in matters pertaining to Afghanistan but instead focus on the people-to-people relations and not through encouragement of terrorism.
He also pointed out to the suicide attacks by the IS and said that this does not bode well for Afghanistan's future. He wanted the region, as well as other powers, to help Afghanistan fight the scourge of the IS as it poses a threat to the region. Till now over 100 people have been killed in attacks by the IS in various parts of the country.
The former president highlighted the fact that Afghan women want rights not because the international community wants those but because it is their desire. He stressed that the Afghan people want women to be represented in all walks of life.