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In Dushanbe, Pak Foreign Minister gets an earful from Tajikistan President on the dire Afghan situation

President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon with Pakistan's Minister of Foreign Affairs Shah Mahmood Qureshi in Dushanbe on Wednesday

In a major embarrassment for Islamabad, Tajikistan President Emomali Rahmon on Wednesday scolded Shah Mehmood Qureshi, the visiting foreign minister of Pakistan – a country widely seen as fathering the Taliban, which has assumed power in neighbouring Afghanistan.

Tajikistan’s President virtually accused the Taliban of back-stabbing other ethnic groups of Afghanistan by breaching their commitment to form a representational government in Afghanistan. Pakistan-backed Taliban had rolled into Kabul on August 15, toppling the government of president Ashraf Ghani.

"Evidence clearly shows that the Taliban are abandoning their previous promises to form an interim government with the broad participation of other political forces in the country and are preparing to establish an Islamic emirate," stressed Rahmon during the meeting with the Pak foreign minister. 

Tajikistan also made clear today that it will not recognize any other government that will be formed in Afghanistan "through oppression", without taking into account the position of the entire Afghan people, especially all its national minorities.

It was also told to Qureshi that the Tajiks have "a worthy place" in the future government of Afghanistan.

The Tajik President’s remarks follow the Taliban's decision to besiege the Panjshir valley – the stronghold of the Afghani Tajiks who have refused to surrender before the extremist group. The humanitarian situation in the valley is also turning critical as the Taliban try and cut-off the supply lines feeding the valley.

"The Republic of Tajikistan stressed that in order to urgently address the political and security problems of the neighbouring country, an inclusive government should be established as soon as possible with the participation of all national minorities, especially Tajiks in Afghanistan, who make up more than 46% of the population," an official Tajik statement said, adding that the state structure can be determined by referendum and taking into account the "position of all citizens" of the country.

Tajikistan said that it has always supported the restoration of lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan and remains committed to this position. Calling on the international community to take "urgent measures" to ensure peace and stability in Afghanistan and to stabilize its difficult political and security situation through negotiations as soon as possible, Tajikistan said that the "international community's indifference" to the current situation in Kabul could lead to a protracted civil war.

"Afghanistan is on the brink of a humanitarian catastrophe as a result of the withdrawal of coalition forces… It was stressed at the meeting that the victim Afghanistan and this friendly and brotherly nation of ours should not be dragged back into the whirlpool of bloody imposed wars," stated the Tajik President's office.

"It was stressed that Tajikistan is committed to the restoration of peace, stability and security in neighbouring Afghanistan as soon as possible, and we believe that the United Nations should play a key role in promoting this process," the President's office explained.

Put on the plane by Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan to discuss regional security with focus on Afghanistan with neighbouring countries, Tajikistan was Qureshi's first stop on a four-nation trip.

He travelled to Uzbekistan and met the country's Foreign Minister Abdulaziz Kamilov Wednesday evening.

Turkmenistan and Iran are next but the dicey start that has been made in Dushanbe would have definitely served as a good wake-up call for Qureshi and Pakistan.   

Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan are part of the Moscow-led Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO). Aware of the threat to Tajikistan from a radical spill-over from Afghanistan, Russia is accumulating war material in Dushanbe and Bokhtar, its giant bases in Tajikistan.

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