Sun, 26 Sep 2021

New Delhi [India], July 30 (ANI): Afghanistan would become a "pariah state" if the government (after Taliban takeover) commits atrocities against its own population, said US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Wednesday.

"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," TOLO News quoting Blinken reported.

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 centres, 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 was on a two-day visit to India for talks with Indian leaders. He 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, TOLO News further reported.

"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.

Taliban has escalated its offensive against security forces and civilians. They are rapidly gaining territory in Afghanistan.

Moreover, they are imposing archaic rules on the captured territories and being a Sunni outfit, the Shias fear sectarian violence against them.

The Taliban now control about half of the 419 district centres in Afghanistan, while they have yet to capture any of the country's 34 provincial capitals, said General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

As the Taliban seize more territory, the Afghan security forces are consolidating their positions to protect key population centres, including Kabul, he said. (ANI)

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