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Pakistan says Taliban will form government and asks for international support





Pakistan said on Tuesday that the Taliban will form a “consensus” government in the coming days and called on the international community not to abandon Afghanistan after the complete withdrawal of US troops from the country.

“We are waiting for form a government of consensus in the coming days,” Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said at a press conference held in Islamabad together with his German counterpart, Heiko Maas.

Pakistan’s head of diplomacy urged the international community to remain involved in Afghanistan.

“Humanitarian aid has to arrive. We will not allow the economic collapse of Afghanistan”, stressed Qureshi.

Pakistan maintained relations with the Taliban during the war and the presence of US and NATO military personnel over the past 20 years, contacts that have led the United States, on more than one occasion, to criticize Islamabad for helping the then insurgents.

Qureshi’s statements came just hours after Taliban leaders had declared “complete independence” of Afghanistan, this Tuesday morning, at the airport in Kabul, after the full withdrawal of the United States before midnight local time.

In the midst of the celebrations, the Taliban also referred to their intention to form an “inclusive” Islamic Government.

“It is important for all of us that all Afghans, even those who do not support the Taliban, feel represented, but it remains to be seen whether the Taliban will take this into account” and keep their promises, said Maas, who arrived on Monday to Islamabad for a two-day visit.

The head of German diplomacy recalled that the Taliban had promised allow more Afghans to leave the country, even after the official withdrawal operations were completed and now that the airport is already in the hands of the insurgents.

“The Taliban promised, but it will only be in the coming days and weeks that we will see if we can count on it,” said Maas.

Pakistan has become a strategic partner for entering and leaving Afghanistan, with the beginning of the arrival of humanitarian aid and the withdrawal of foreigners and Afghan collaborators, a situation that the German minister was keen to underline.

“I liked thank Pakistan for withdrawing German citizens of the country”, he said, adding that his country will support Afghanistan’s neighbors to face the new challenges, with Germany having already provided 100 million euros in humanitarian aid and pledged another 500 million.

The last US military in Afghanistan left the country this morning, prompting the Taliban to proclaim full victory and mark the end of the war with the United States with a parade of the leaders of the fundamentalist group through the airport.

The total conquest of Kabul by the Taliban took place on August 15, culminating an offensive that began in May, when the withdrawal of US military forces and NATO began.

International forces have been in the country since 2001, as part of the offensive led by the United States against the extremist regime (1996-2001), which welcomed in its territory the leader of al-Qaida, Osama bin Laden, mainly responsible for the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001.

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