Qatar has pressed the West to strengthen its engagement with the Taliban, stressing that if it does not, Afghanistan will descend into instability and extremism.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani, Qatar’s foreign minister, has said that keeping the status quo “where the west boycotts Afghanistan and just focuses on part of the humanitarian activities through international agencies” would not keep “Afghanistan intact.”
He told the Financial Times, “We will see maybe a rise of extremism.” “We will start to see an economic crisis, which has already started, and this will just drive the people to more radicalisation and conflict,” he added.
Qatar is one of the few countries that deals with the Taliban, and Al-Thani justified Qatar’s approach to the Taliban by claiming that isolating the Taliban exacerbates extremism, which is “what [Qatar is] trying to avoid.”
He also condemned the Taliban’s attitude and actions toward women, claiming that such extremist behavior would not have occurred if the international community had dealt harshly with the Taliban following the withdrawal of US soldiers from Afghanistan.
Qatar is a key country in the relationship between the Taliban and Western communities, and the United States and the Taliban signed a peace pact in Doha, Qatar’s capital.
According to Al-Thani, the Taliban maintains a relationship with Western communities through Qatar, but Western policy toward the Taliban remains uncertain.
He urged Western governments to collaborate with the Taliban, particularly in the economic sector, to increase employment in Afghanistan following capacity building.
The Taliban are in total political, cultural, economic, and diplomatic isolation, as they were in the past decades.
Despite the fact that the Taliban has been in control for nine months, no country has yet recognized them. The group’s isolation is primarily due to its restrictive rules against women, escalating gender tensions, the use of violence against citizens, field trials, and human rights violations.