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Afghanistan Withdraws from the General Assembly Debate

On Monday, Afghanistan withdrew from delivering an address to the world leaders at the General Assembly. According to the reports, Ghulam Isaczai who represented the previous government of Ashraf Ghani that was overthrown by the Taliban group was removed from the list of the speakers. The move comes as a result of the claims for Afghanistan’s United Nation’s seat in New York after the Taliban retook over the country after 20 years when it was removed by the United States-led military invasion. Ghulam Isaczai has not addressed the media on the withdrawal.  Monica Grayley, the spokesperson for the assembly’s president stated that “We have received information that the Member State [Afghanistan] withdrew its participation in the General Debate which was scheduled for today.” Stephane Dujarric, the spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres stated that the office received a communication from Isaczai on September 15, listing the names of Afghanistan’s delegation for the assembly’s 76th annual session.

In the week before the above event, the Taliban Foreign minister Amir Khan Muttaqi asked the gathering of the world leaders at the United Nations to be addressed by him and the present government has chosen Suhail Shaheen as the UN Ambassador to Afghanistan. He further stated that President Ghani has been “Ousted” and countries around the world no longer recognised him as the President of Afghanistan.  So, Ghulam Isaczai has no longer any authority to represent Afghanistan. 

From 1996 to 2001, when the Taliban ruled over the country, the UN refused to recognise the group as a government. Instead, the organisation gave Afghanistan’s seat to the previous government of President Burhanuddin Rabbani. According to various reports, the Taliban has asked for international recognition and financial help to rebuild the war-battered country, but the makeup of the new Taliban government has been a major source of dilemma for the UN. Especially since several of the interim ministers who are part of the government are on the UN’s blacklist of international “terrorists and funders of terrorism”. Further, the Taliban has accused the US of violating the 2020 Doha Agreement and has demanded that its leaders should be taken off the “terror” list. The growing humanitarian crisis and also the worsening conditions of women in the country further makes the organisation question the real intentions of the group on ruling over the country.

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