Afghan women’s rights internal issue, says Taliban ahead of UN talks – Times of India

NEW DELHI: The Taliban government has stated that issues concerning women’s rights in Afghanistan are internal matters that they are working to address them. This statement comes as the United Nations prepares to hold engagement talks in Qatar, where the exclusion of Afghan women from the main meetings has sparked widespread criticism.
The Taliban delegation, led by government spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid, will attend the third round of talks starting on Sunday. Civil society representatives, including women’s rights groups, will participate in separate meetings with international envoys and UN officials on Tuesday.
Mujahid emphasised that the Taliban government represents all of Afghanistan and should be the sole Afghan representatives at the talks. He stated, “If Afghans participate through several channels, it means we are still scattered, our nation is still not unified.”
The UN-led talks, which began in May 2023, aim to enhance international coordination in engaging with the Taliban authorities. However, the Taliban government has not been officially recognised by any state, and the international community has grappled with its approach to Afghanistan’s new rulers, with women’s rights being a significant point of contention.
Mujahid reiterated the Taliban’s desire for positive relations with all countries but noted that no major discussions would take place in Doha. Instead, the meeting serves as an opportunity to exchange views, particularly with Western countries. The agenda will focus on combating narcotics and addressing economic issues, which the Taliban authorities consider crucial for the impoverished country’s development.

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