NATO warns Afghan Taliban against taking control of country
On Sunday, NATO’s Senior Civil Representative in Afghanistan Stefano Pontecorvo, emphasised the achievements made by the people of Afghanistan over the past 19 years, and the heavy cost of attaining peace and progress after a prolonged period of civil strife.
Pontecorvo added that any degree of continued support by international donors will be contingent upon the favourability of the peace negotiations between the Taliban and the Afghan government, stating that there is no way back for the Taliban to take complete control of the country (as they did two decades ago) - inviting them to peacefully become a part of the Afghan government.
Pontecorvo stated that “the achievements of the past two decades are maintained will be valuable. Women’s rights, minorities’ rights and generally the human rights and freedom of media are the only way to lead us to a lasting peace”, urging all concerned parties that NATO is fully supportive to uphold freedom of speech and other fundamental liberties in Afghanistan, threatening that they would not lend their support to any government willing to compromise on those liberties.
He called the Afghan peace talks going on in Qatar as “real”, but admitted that violence in Afghanistan was at a high level, which he termed as unacceptable - calling upon the Taliban to build trust and decrease violence if they are truly concerned over the people of Afghanistan, adding that “the peace will be a hard process but it would much harder if there is not trust.”
More importantly, Pontecorvo commented that the United States and NATO came together to Afghanistan, and would subsequently leave together, adding that “it is wrong to say that the U.S leaves here (Afghanistan) and NATO remains”.