Conflicts & War

Pakistan warns of ‘biggest man-made crisis’ unfolding in Afghanistan

Islamabad, Dec 19 (EFE).- Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan Sunday warned of the “biggest man-made crisis” in Afghanistan if the global community failed to address the deteriorating economic situation in the war-ravaged country.

Khan addressed an international gathering of global leaders, mainly from Islamic countries, in the Pakistani capital as part of new efforts to address the looming humanitarian crisis in the neighborhood.

Taliban acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi represented the Afghan government in the first global conference since the Islamists came to power on Aug.15.

“If the world does not act, this will be the biggest man-made crisis which is unfolding in front of us,” Khan said.

He said the international community, especially the United States, needed to step in to alleviate the suffering of Afghan people.

“We must have to and they (US) must delink the Taliban government from the 40 million afghan citizens,” said the prime minister.

“That is why it is very important that action is taken immediately.”

More than 70 delegates, including ministers and deputy ministers from 30 countries, representatives from the United Nations, Islamic Development Bank, and aid agency leaders, attended the day-long summit of the foreign ministers of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) member states.

Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi warned of the danger of a complete economic meltdown in Afghanistan.

He said the consequences of a major humanitarian crisis and economic collapse in Afghanistan would be horrendous.

It could trigger massive human suffering, the mass exodus of Afghan refugees, radicalization, and terrorism with grave consequences for regional and global peace and security, said Qureshi.

“The Afghan economy is likely to witness a contraction of 30 percent within a year unless the tide is stemmed.”

He said Afghanistan needed cash to revive the economy, pay salaries, restore small businesses, and reboot the banking system.

Martin Griffiths, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator echoed the concern.

The international community needed to act decisively with compassion, Griffiths said.

He said some 70 percent of teachers have not received their monthly salaries and millions of children were out of school.

“The United Nations stands firmly with you (the OIC) and your efforts and your plans,” said Griffiths.

Secretary-General OIC Hissein Brahim Taha said the Islamic bloc had always taken a strong position to support its member countries.

He said the organization was ready to play its role in supporting humanitarian action in coordination with the relevant OIC missions and relief agencies across the Muslim world.

Pakistan is hosting an OIC meeting on Afghanistan situation after 41 years. The last meeting took place in January 1980.

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