Russia, Pakistan Discuss ‘Practical Engagement’ With Afghan Taliban

Voice of America News reports: “Russia and Pakistan emphasized in bilateral talks Wednesday the need for ‘practical engagement’ with Afghanistan’s Taliban but ruled out formal recognition of the Islamist rulers until they address international concerns over women’s rights and inclusive governance.

The Russian presidential envoy for Afghanistan, Zamir Kabulov, led his delegation in the talks with Pakistani officials in Islamabad and briefed them on his meetings earlier this month with the Taliban in Kabul.

Kabulov said Moscow was continuing to engage with the Taliban but was not considering granting legitimacy to the de facto Afghan rulers ‘for the time being,’ official Pakistani sources privy to Wednesday’s meetings told VOA.

The sources quoted the Russian envoy as saying he ‘advised’ the Islamist Taliban to move toward creating a politically inclusive government and easing curbs on women, saying that otherwise there can be no movement forward on the issue of their legitimacy, nor can Afghanistan get any substantial support from the world…”

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