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CRS report warns Afghans worsening humanitarian crisis due to US punitive approach

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CRS report warns Afghan's worsening humanitarian crisis due to US' punitive approach


Washington: A recent report prepared by independent subject area experts of the bipartisan Congressional Research Service (CRS) said that the punitive approach of the US against the Taliban might exacerbate the already dire humanitarian conditions in Afghanistan with uncertain implications for the Taliban rule and regional dynamics.

The report warns that the Taliban will get opportunities to evade or counter the US pressure if other countries such as Pakistan, Russia, China, or US partners such as Qatar move towards greater acceptance of the Taliban. The current approach of the US could isolate the country, weakening its leverage on the militant group.

The report stated that the acceptance of a Taliban government that acts to secure some US national security interests (such as combatting ISKP) while not governing democratically or protecting human rights could also pose a difficult, if familiar, challenge for US policymakers.

It said that a US policy response that rejects and seeks to weaken the Taliban may have broad domestic support, given the history of conflict and Taliban policies that undermine US interests. It is unclear to what extent, if at all, the Taliban might change their behaviour in response to US actions, but the group appears to be prioritising internal cohesion over compromises that might appeal to foreign actors.

"A less oppositional US approach towards the Taliban could allow for greater US access to, and perhaps influence over, the group and events in Afghanistan. Engagement with a Taliban government that acts in support of some US interests and against others could compel US policymakers to weigh and prioritise those interests, posing a difficult challenge," the report said.

The report also said that Pakistan played a disruptive and destabilising role in Afghan affairs for many years which used the provision of support to the Taliban to do the same.

Pakistan has been trying to convince the world to diplomatically engage with the Taliban after they seized control of Kabul on August 15. However, the international community is still sceptical about the militant group, especially on issues like terrorism emanating from the war-torn country and their promises to respect human rights.

CRS reports which are prepared for US lawmakers to make informed decisions on various issues of their interest is not considered an official view or report of the US Congress.

The Taliban swept across Afghanistan in August, seizing control of all key towns and cities in the backdrop of withdrawal of the US forces that began on May 1.

The militant group ousted the elected government of President Ashraf Ghani, forcing him to flee the country.

The US froze over USD 9 billion of assets of the Afghan central bank after the Taliban insurgents seized power in the country.

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TAGS:Afghan UpdatesTaliban
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