PESHAWAR: Taliban acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi called on Ahmad Massoud, the leader of the Resistance Front, and Ismail Khan, the former governor of Herat in Iran and assured that “everyone could come and live safely in Afghanistan.”
“We will not create security and other problems for anyone in Afghanistan,” Muttaqi assured the two Tajik leaders. The Afghan Resistance Front has not confirmed and denaied the meeting.
The Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in a statement on Twitter that the Taliban government is trying to ensure that the country’s future is secure for all and that there is no reason to oppose it. Earlier in the day, the media in Afghanistan denied reports.
Ismail Khan is a former jihadi commander and has long been the governor of the western province of Herat. He was detained during the Taliban’s occupation of Herat last year but was soon released, after which he moved to the Iranian city of Mashhad. Ahmed Masood is the eldest son of Ahmed Shah Masood, a former jihadi commander and leader of the Northern Alliance. He went into hiding after the Taliban took control of Kabul and announced that he would continue to resist the Taliban under the banner of the Afghan National Resistance Front.
Mottaki left for Iran on January 8 with a delegation.
Ahmadullah Wasiq, a spokesman for the Taliban’s deputy government, told media that the purpose of the visit was to discuss strengthening ties between Afghanistan, discuss border issues and boost trade between the two countries. Iran, which shares a 936-km border with Afghanistan, has not yet recognized the Taliban government like other regional countries. Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzada told reporters last week that Tehran had not yet reached the point of recognizing the Taliban government.
Muttaqi had also visited Pakistan earlier.
Taliban Foreign Ministry spokesman Abdul Qahar Balkhi said that a high level delegation led by the actiing Foreign Minister was visiting Tehran at the invitation of Iran government. “The purpose of this visit is to discuss political, economic, transit and refugee issues between Afghanistan and Iran,” he tweeted.
On the other hand, according to the AFP, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzada said in a press conference, “today we are not in a position to recognize the Taliban.Iran had not recognized the Taliban’s rule from 1996 to 2001.
Refugees and the economic situation in Afghanistan have been deteriorating since the US withdrawal and the Taliban took power. The Afghan Taliban on Friday called for emergency humanitarian aid without “political bias”, saying the recent snowfall and floods had exacerbated the plight of Afghans. In a video message, Deputy Prime Minister Abdul Ghani Baradar said that it is the responsibility of the world to support Afghans.