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20 EU MPs table motion inviting Ahmad Massoud to address the European Council

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The Economic Times
15th September, 2021 22:22 IST

In a move aimed at pushing inclusivity in Kabul, 20 Members of European Parliament have tabled a motion for a resolution inviting National Resistance Front leader Ahmad Massoud to address the European Council and the European Parliament. It also suggested regular dialogue with India on the Afghan issue.

This motion pertaining to the current situation in Afghanistan was moved on behalf of Renew Europe which has a strength of 98 MEPs and will be put to vote on Thursday. Expressing its strong concern over Afghanistan’s future, the motion highlighted that the Taliban are depriving the Afghans of their "basic rights and freedoms".

Maintaining that Taliban had formed anything but an inclusive government, the motion tabled on Tuesday asserted that the Taliban have taken power by force and the caretaker government they have appointed is neither inclusive, legitimate nor accountable to the Afghan people.

The motion also alleged that he Taliban’s caretaker government included persons responsible for acts of terrorism, including former detainees, individuals under UN sanctions and a person on an FBI most wanted list; whereas many members of the Taliban’s caretaker government are holders of passports issued by Pakistan.

The motion noted with utmost concern the appointment as Minister of Interior of Sirajuddin Haqqani, whose links with terrorist activities have been extensively documented, and the presence of several individuals under UN sanctions in the de facto Taliban government.

The motion further alleged that the Taliban are facing the National Resistance Front of Afghanistan (NRF) in the Panjshir Valley led by Ahmad Massoud and Pakistan is assisting the Taliban in fighting the NRF by supplying its special forces and providing air support. The Taliban fighters have been provided with safe havens in Pakistan for many years, the motion also alleged.

The motion also suggested that the communication with the Taliban should by no means lead to the removal of the existing sanctions against its members the terrorist threat remains a major challenge and cautioned that jihadists around the world feel emboldened by the Taliban’s takeover.

The motion noted that for many years Pakistan provided safe havens for Taliban members, as well as assistance to its security forces in taking over Afghanistan. The motion instructed the European External Action Service (EEAS) to convey to Pakistan’s leadership that it bears responsibility for security and stability in Afghanistan and that Pakistan’s influence on the Taliban will be taken into account when considering the renewal of the Generalised Scheme of Preferences Plus (GSP+) and to weigh up whether there is reason to immediately review Pakistan’s eligibility for GSP+ status in the light of current events and whether there is sufficient reason to initiate a procedure for the temporary withdrawal of this status and the benefits that come with it.

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