World running out of patience with Taliban: UN envoy

New York: A UN envoy has stressed the need for the international community to engage with the Taliban in Afghanistan. Markus Potzel, the UN Secretary-General’s Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan saw international engagement as the most realistic approach, Xinhua news agency reported.

If the Taliban do not respond to the needs of all elements of Afghan society and constructively engage within the very limited window of opportunity with the international community, it is unclear what would come next, he told the Security Council in a briefing.

Further fragmentation, isolation, poverty, and internal conflict are among the likely scenarios, leading to potential mass migration and a domestic environment conducive to terrorist organizations, as well as greater misery for the Afghan population, he warned.

Since taking over Kabul, the Taliban’s self-identified emirate has not been recognized by any state. At the same time, the international community also did not want to see the country collapse, Potzel added.

“I am afraid that patience is running out by many in the international community regarding a strategy of engagement with Afghanistan’s Taliban authorities,” Potzel warned.

The ongoing ban on secondary education for girls and growing restrictions on women’s rights are signals that the Taliban are indifferent to more than 50 percent of the population and are willing to risk international isolation, he added.

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