AFGHANISTAN: The annual Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit is being held in Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan. Foreign ministers from around the world, including China, India, Russia, Pakistan, and Central Asian countries, are in attendance.
The summit strives to promote political, commercial, and economic cooperation while maintaining regional peace and security.
During the summit, news agency Wion conducted an exclusive tell-all interview with Afghanistan’s Taliban government’s foreign minister, Amir Khan Muttaqi, over key aspects of education, industrialization and economy.
Muttaqi was quizzed over the challenges that the government continues to face post-Taliban takeover in 2021.
While Muttaqi answers with conviction, guaranteeing political stability, the return of law and order, and economic improvement of the land, he says that the challenges they continue to face “have been reframed to a greater extent.”
He admits the fatal repercussions of the four-decade-long conflict on the economy. Still, He is “optimistic” that it will soon improve with the “level of progress” that the Taliban government is making.
The interviewer posed another question before the foreign minister regarding two of the most controversial aspects of the Taliban: the government’s recognition and girls’ education.
Muttaqi confirms that international talks at the summit have been beneficial in quelling the prejudices around the Taliban and that the “participants got to know the real facts about Afghanistan.” These biased perceptions are now being addressed and thoroughly discussed so that they “now have the real picture of Afghanistan in their minds.”
Talks of starting major economic activities are well underway, especially the railway track from Uzbekistan to Pakistan and other projects such as Turkmenistan- Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI).
Muttaqi proudly affirms that countries are now beginning to talk about progress, development, economy, and infrastructure instead of a cease-fire, war, and diplomatic dialogues.
Muttaqi also shed some light on girls’ education, but only in statistics and numbers. He declared that there are around 10 million students in Afghanistan and that education has peaked at a solid 100% from a mere 35% before.
The government has set up 141 special education Centres and 29 others that are operational, with a total of 0.45 million students in the sector. He is confident about the progress that they are making and is hopeful for a brighter future.