Saturday, September 12, 2009

Afghanistan: Taliban gains in fighting Lobbying for UN seat

The forces ruling Islamic movement in Afghanistan; Taliban have made significant gains in the renewed fighting with the forces of the Northern Alliance led by Ahmed Shah Masood. Taliban claims to have captured two key districts of north-eastern Takhar province on Tajikistan border, even as it is strongly lobbying for the UN seat which is held by the Panjsheer Valley based Northern Alliance Government led by Burhanuddin Rabbani. Taliban has also claimed that its forces took control of the areas of Hazar Bagh and Khwajaghar, around 20 km north of the provincial capital, Taloquan after heavy fighting. Taliban captured the strategic Taloqan district on Sept. 6 and the forces loyal to Ahmed Shah Masood fled to the neighbouring Tajikistan.

Concerned over the fighting near its border which may have a backlash on Dashunbe, Tajik President Imomali Rakhamovo caned a high level meeting on Sept 26 which was attended, among others, by Russian ambassador, Russian military officers and members of the Tajik government. The fighting in Afghanistan poses a serious threat to the country's security, President Rakhmonov was quoted as saying.

Taliban has, however, dismissed Tajikistan's fears of instability as a result of its recent victories over opponents. Rather, the Taliban Foreign Minister Wakil Ahmad Muttawakil, told a news conference in Kabul the other day, the advance of Taliban forces close to the Tajikistan border will bring security and stability to the region. "They should not have the fear that we may interfere in their affairs", he said.

After winning more territory from its Northern Alliance opponents, Taliban has staked claim to the UN seat. But, because Taliban was under UN sanctions because of its poor human rights record, its refusal to form a broadbased Government and denial of independence of work to the women, it is unlikely that the United Nations would oblige the Taliban which is at present recognized only by three countries - Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. The Taliban Deputy Foreign Minister, Abdur Rahman Zahid, who is leading a Taliban delegation to the United Nations, has said it was surprising that the World Body was not recognizing the Taliban Government which controls more than 95 per cent of the territory and instead considers the Burhanuddin Rabbani regime a legitimate one even though it does not even has a postal address.

A meeting of the Security Council has, however, demanded the hand over of the Saudi renegade Osama bin Laden, and expressed concern over the growing spread of Afghan conflict beyond the country's borders and its destabilising effect on neighbouring countries

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