Afghanistan can be a pariah state if Taliban continue abuse, says Blinken Jul 29, 2021 0 1708 12345 dpa New Delhi Afghanistan can become a pariah state if the Taliban continues to abuse the rights of its own people and takes control by force, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Wednesday.The Taliban’s advance towards the district centres of Afghanistan over the past week and reports of atrocities committed by them was deeply troubling, Blinken said during a press briefing in New Delhi.“Ultimately an Afghanistan that does not respect the rights of its people, an Afghanistan that commits atrocities against its own people will become a pariah state,” Blinken said after talks with his Indian counterpart Subrahmanyam Jaishankar.Blinken said the Taliban wanted international recognition and support for Afghanistan. “It presumably wants its leaders to be able to travel freely in the world, sanctions lifted ... well, taking over the country by force and abusing the rights of its people is not the path to achieve those objectives.” The only path was the negotiating table to resolve the conflict peacefully and which would lead to the emergence of a government which was inclusive and representative of all its people, Blinken said.Blinken said the US despite withdrawing its troops remained very much engaged in Afghanistan through diplomacy to resolve the conflict and assistance in various forms including to Afghan security forces.Jaishankar said consequences to the US withdrawal of its forces were inevitable and discussions had to centre on how to handle the situation and bring about a political rather than military solution.The discussions between Blinken and Jaishankar covered various areas of cooperation including in the Indo-Pacific bilaterally and through the Quad regional alliance that also includes Japan and Australia.In reply to a question on China’s criticism of the Quad as an attempt to contain its influence, Blinken said the grouping was not a military alliance.It was four like-minded countries collaborating and pooling resources to have an impact on issues that concerned them including the pandemic, economic recovery, climate change and maritime security, Blinken said.Blinken said the US would provide 25 million dollars through USAID to support India’s vaccination programme.Human rights issues also came up during talks. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party government has been criticized for trying to silence critics and for policies that are seen as discriminatory towards Muslims.“India’s democracy is powered by its free-thinking citizens,” Blinken said. Every democracy faced challenges which could be ugly but had to be dealt with openly, he added.Blinken left for Kuwait after a meeting with Modi. Pages 12 RELATED ARTICLES Heavy monsoon inundates several neighbourhoods in Pakistani capital Jul 29, 2021 0 253 Blinken meets Dalai Lama representative on India trip Jul 29, 2021 0 53 18 workers sleeping by side of road killed in Indian highway crash Jul 29, 2021 0 58 Five dead, over 30 missing in flash flood in N India Srinagar:Five people were killed and more than 30 are missing after a cloudburst early Wednesday led to heavy rains that swept away parts of a remote village in India’s Jammu and Kashmir state, officials said. Five bodies .. Most of Malaysia’s record coronavirus cases showing mild or no symptoms dpa Bangkok The vast majority of people who catch coronavirus in Malaysia show mild symptoms or none at all, the Health Ministry said on Wednesday, after reporting another daily case record. Ministry .. Iranian lawmakers pass controversial internet restriction bill dpa Tehran Iran’s parliament on Wednesday passed legislation to toughen internet censorship, after a protracted back and forth between opponents and supporters in a country where information is already tightly .. Outcry after Indonesian Air Force officers assault Papuan man dpa Jakarta The chief of the Indonesian Air Force apologised on Wednesday after two personnel assaulted a disabled man in the rebellious Papua province, where anger against Jakarta’s rule has been on the rise. A .. Palestinian man shot dead by Israeli soldier Tel Aviv/Ramallah: A Palestinian man was shot dead by an Israeli soldier in the occupied West Bank under unclear circumstances. The man had quickly approached several soldiers south of Nablus with an iron bar in his hand, ..