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China voices ‘concern’ over Taliban policies on women rights

Courtesy: Dawn News/AFP

BEIJING: Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang said his country is “concerned” about the impact of recent policies introduced by Afghani­stan’s Taliban government on the rights of women, state media reported on Friday.

Qin’s comments at a regional summit in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, come after a decision by the conservative Taliban authorities to bar women from working for the United Nations sparked international outrage.

“China and other friendly neighbours of Afghanistan are concerned about the recent policies and measures taken by the Afghan side and their possible impact on the basic rights and interests of Afghan women,” Qin told reporters on Thursday, according to the official Xinhua news agency.

But the foreign minister added that while the issue of women’s rights and interests is very important, “it is not the whole issue of Afghanistan, nor is it the core or root cause of Afghanistan’s problems”. “We should neither turn a blind eye to this problem nor ignore it,” he said.

Taliban authorities have imposed a slew of restrictions on Afghan women since seizing power in 2021.

Taliban officials have argued that their extension of curbs on female employment to include the UN’s operations in the country.

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