“An Afghanistan that does not respect the rights of its people, an Afghanistan that commits atrocities against its own people would become a pariah state,” Blinken said. He said that the violence carried out by the Taliban against the Afghan people was deeply troubling and not a good sign for the future of the country.
“Yes, certainly what we were seeing on the ground in the last week is the Taliban making advances on district centers, challenging some provincial capitals,” Blinken said, adding: “We have also seen these reports of atrocities committed by the Taliban in areas that it has taken over; that are deeply, deeply troubling and certainly do not speak well of the Taliban’s intentions for the country as a whole.”
Blinken, who was in New Delhi for talks with Indian leaders, said the only path to peace in Afghanistan was through negotiations, and that all parties must take them seriously.
“The Taliban says that it seeks international recognition, that it wants international support for Afghanistan. Presumably it wants its leaders to be able to travel freely in the world, sanctions lifted, etc. Well, the taking over the country by force and abusing the rights of its people is not the path to achieve those objectives,” he said.
“There’s only one path and that’s at the negotiating table to resolve the conflict peacefully and to have an Afghanistan emerge that is governed in a genuinely inclusive way and that’s representative of all its people,” he further said.
India’s External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar also underlined the importance of the peace negotiations in Afghanistan.
“The gains to Afghan civil society, especially rights of women, minorities and social freedom –over the last two decades are self-evident,” he said, adding that “Afghanistan must never be home to insurgents, nor become a source of refugees.”
He also said that it is essential that peace negotiations are taken “seriously by all parties.”
“The world wishes to see an independent, sovereign, and democratic Afghanistan, at peace with itself and its neighbors,” said Jaishankar.