Posted on Oct 09, 2021
Josep Borrell Fontelles, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Vice-President of the European Commission, has been challenged by delegates at a conference at Brussels Press Club to clarify his position regarding recognition of the Taliban as the legitimate government of Afghanistan.
During the conference, representatives of the United Kashmiri Peoples' National Party (UKPNP) raised fears over joint actions in Jammu Kashmir by the Taliban and Pakistan.
This follows a statement by Neelam Irshad Sheikh, leader of Pakistan’s ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, that “Taliban have said that they are with us and they will help us in [liberating] Kashmir.”
"The prospect of the Taliban, which enjoys the backing of the Pakistani government, intervening in Kashmir is striking fears in the hearts of the Kashmiri people," one delegate told EUToday, adding "have we not suffered enough already?"
On September 14th Borrell, indicated that the bloc is prepared to recognise the Taliban as the legitimate government of Afghanistan, further indicating that the European Union has no option but to talk to Afghanistan's new rulers, and that he will try to coordinate with member governments to organise a diplomatic presence in Kabul.
In the EU context Borrell appears to be in a minority of one.
Both Italy and France have refused to have any diplomatic ties with the group, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian accusing the terrorist group of “lying” and stating that Paris “refuses to recognise or have any type of relationship with this government."
The fears of the Kashmiri people echo those of what remains of Afghani opposition, who have appealed to the international community not to recognise the Taliban.
At the time of writing, Borrell has not responded to a memorandum asking for him to clarify his position, which was hand delivered to his offices at the European Commission by Jamil Maqsood of UKPNP on October 4th.
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