Afghanistan risks becoming a ‘pariah state’
Afghanistan would become a "pariah state" if the Taliban take control by force, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said yesterday, as a top-level delegation from the insurgent group visited China to assure officials of their international obligations.
"An Afghanistan that does not respect the rights of its people, an Afghanistan that commits atrocities against its own people would become a pariah state," Blinken told reporters in India.
In China, the Taliban's leadership assured Beijing the group will not allow Afghanistan to be used as a base for plotting against another country.
Beijing confirmed the thrust of the talks, which were led on the Chinese side by Foreign Minister Wang Yi.
In New Delhi, Blinken warned the Taliban they would have to change if they wanted global acceptance.
"The Taliban says that it seeks international recognition. … The taking over of the country by force and abusing the rights of its people is not the path to achieve those objectives," he added.
Meanwhile, in a move that is likely to provoke anger in China. Blinken yesterday met with a representative of Tibet's spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, in New Delhi.
Analysts say China, whose stated foreign policy position is non-interference in other countries' issues, is queasy about the religiosity of the Taliban given their proximity to Muslim-majority Xinjiang.
But the meeting gifts legitimacy to an insurgent group craving international recognition -- and a potential diplomatic shield at the UN -- to match their military march across the nation.