Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi is set to begin a regional tour on Tuesday, beginning with neighboring Iran, where he will meet with his counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif, with the new Taliban government in Afghanistan at the top of their agenda. It’s just the last in a flurry of diplomatic coordination on the issue.
At a Monday press conference, Qureshi said that it was important for regional powers to help ensure a stable future for Afghanistan after the Taliban’s sudden seizure of power last week, noting peace in the war-torn country “is inevitable for its neighbors and neighboring countries.”
Earlier this month, the Taliban’s lightning offensive in the face of a negotiated US withdrawal was crowned by the peaceful surrender of Kabul as Ashraf Ghani, the now-exiled president, fled to the United Arab Emirates. US and Afghan officials had said they expected the city to hold out for at least another month, so the city’s sudden surrender sent nations around the globe scrambling for a united policy on the new Taliban government, which is known for its extremely strict interpretation of Sunni Islam and for harboring terrorist groups like al-Qaeda and the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM).
Taliban leaders have already promised the US not to support al-Qaeda and China not to support the ETIM, but on Monday, Pakistani Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid said the Afghan Taliban had also reassured Islamabad it would not give refuge to…