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Taliban reject lifting ban on women’s work and education

Courtesy: Geo News/AFP

  • Taliban says demand “interference in Afghanistan’s internal social affairs”.
  • Development comes after two-day UN committee meeting in Doha.
  • “Another meeting will be held in the future,” UN chief Guterres says.

Afghanistan has rejected the demand to lift the ban on women’s work and education, a news agency reported on Wednesday.

“The demand is interference in Afghanistan’s internal social affairs,” the Taliban officials said.

Taliban Political Office Head Suhail Shaheen questioned how can the Doha meeting’s decision be accepted or implemented when his government is not part of the process.

The development comes after a two-day meeting of the United Nations’ Security Council Taliban sanctions committee wrapped up in Qatar’s Doha city without formal recognition of the Taliban-led government in Afghanistan.

However, Taliban administration was not invited to this meeting where representatives of over 20 countries and international organisations participated.

“Another meeting will be held in the future,” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said, citing the recently-concluded meeting “important”.

When asked by journalist if there will ever be a situation when he will meet the Taliban directly, Guterres, who headed the aforementioned meeting, said: “If the time is right, I will not deny the possibility.”

Countries that took part in the meeting included China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Norway, Pakistan, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, Britain, the United States, Uzbekistan, the European Union and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.

A day earlier, Reuters reported that the committee had agreed to allow the Taliban administration’s foreign minister Amir Khan Muttaqi’s meeting with foreign ministers and diplomats of Pakistan and China.

For the meeting, Muttaqi will travel from Afghanistan to neighbouring Pakistan next week.

The Afghan minister has long remained under a travel ban, arms embargo and asset freeze following sanctions by the UN Security Council.

According to a letter to the 15-member Security Council Taliban sanctions committee, Pakistan’s UN mission requested an exemption for Muttaqi was to travel between May 6-9 “for a meeting with the foreign ministers of Pakistan and China.”

1- Header image: Afghan women hold placards as they march to protest for their rights, in Kabul on April 29, 2023. — AFP

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