By Omar Bah
Dr Momodou Lamin Sedat Jobe, a former foreign minister and ambassador, has called on the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and the UN Security Council to immediately convene an emergency meeting with the Taliban.
In early August, the Taliban swept into Afghanistan’s capital after the government collapsed and the embattled President Ashraf Ghani joined an exodus of his fellow citizens and foreigners, signaling the end of a costly two-decade U.S. campaign to remake the country. The international community has since voiced concern over accounts of mounting violations against women and girls who fear a return to “the darkest days”. The UN Secretary General António Guterres has said the world body will not abandon the people of the war-torn country, and its personnel will stay and continue to deliver critical services.
However, in an interview with The Standard Dr Jobe said: “The UN and OIC should do everything to plead and appeal to the Taliban that they do not give the wrong impression that taking over power in Afghanistan means the imposition of unconditional Sharia law which will draw back the country, prevent the intellectuals from being able to participate in the governance of their country, create great exodus and bring back Afghanistan to the Middle Ages.
“They should tell them to avoid doing anything negative that is expected of them and that on the contrary they should build on the peace that they found on the ground by encouraging everyone else to feel comfortable going back to work and school,” the former UN official said.
Dr Jobe said pressure should be exercised on the UN Security Council and the OIC to engage the Taliban to flatter their ego so that they would act in “a way that will not only honor Islam and weed out the prejudice that is linked to it but at the same will give Afghanistan a new phase”.
“We should avoid being indifferent. We need a mission straight away into Kabul to talk to the heads of the Taliban to avoid the wrong image and eventually Afghanistan will be out of all those countries that are looked upon as being saviors of terrorism,” Dr Jobe said.
“The fact that this was rudely done and that the three hundred thousand Afghan soldiers who were trained didn’t put in a fight and President Ghani who left, said that he refused to fight to avoid bloodshed. The new leaders should be convinced to capitalize on the fact that they have taken over the country without any resistance to disappoint all those who thought that there would be a blood bath and series of revenges and so on. That they should allow all those people who want to get out of Afghanistan to leave and allow the people to work under the same conditions they were working under President Ghani, the banks and private sector work within the framework of the constitution and the laws of Afghanistan. That alone will be a guarantee for a lot of Afghans to see to it that it is futile to leave the country,” he said.
Dr Jobe said he was in the UN System and UNESCO and worked with a lot of Afghan intellectuals and professors which shows that Afghanistan is a country that is definitely prepared to play a significant role in the globe.
“Let us look at the geopolitical situation – Afghanistan is going to have a very good relationship with Iran and already China is doing everything to recognise them in advance to have advantage over the Western countries and Russia is doing the same thing. Therefore, America should not take a very strong stance against the Taliban because of the Iranian link. On the contrary if they are able to arrive at a modus operandi now that Afghanistan has decided that it is not going to fight for anybody or allow foreign fighters to use their terrain to attack other countries, they could be a great factor in establishing stability in the region,” he added.