In an interview with TOLOnews, US Representative Peter Meijer said that the Islamic Emirate must make progress in certain areas, but also that the West and the US in particular is moving too slowly in engaging with the government.
Meijer noted that Afghanistan currently only has the Islamic Emirate as its head of government.
“You have the formal diplomatic recognition and then you have acknowledgement of where we are today. The Islamic Emirate is the government, there is no other government in Afghanistan right now, and it is important that on the American side we accept and deal with that reality and also make sure that we are not letting hopes and dreams that are naive expectations filter in, but there are things we need to make sure that we are working towards together. I mentioned issues of women and schools, I think there is a need for an understanding on the international community’s behalf of cultural difficulties and of cultural expectations and that we can’t impose our values, but it also is important that the Islamic Emirate recognize the desires and the wishes of its own citizens to pursue what is best for their futures,” Meijer said.
He criticized the international community, particularly the United States, for not engaging with the current Afghan government.
“My concern and my criticism of a lot of international engagement, especially from the American side, is it is too slow, this is a moment of change, this is a moment of opportunity, but it is also a moment that if we go down the pathways of the past, if we fall back into those old habits and trends of mistrust, if we sacrifice and disregard a lot of the improvements and trust that have been built over the past year, the security cooperation we saw --I saw first hand--at Kabul airport during the US withdrawal, I think we have a lot of strong foundations to start to build upon and we cannot wait for the two or three decades it took for the US—and to give an example: Vietnam-- to build a strong relationship. We have to make sure we are not letting the future get hung up by the concerns of the past.” Meijer said.
Meijer also noted that there would be grave consequences if small differences get in the way and expectations on both sides are not met.
"Those nations who set conditions for the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, which it should accept, the Islamic Emirate is also looking for a way to do something to meet their conditions, which at least does not conflict with the Islamic laws and Afghan customs and traditions," said political analyst Mohammad Nasir Haqani.
“The world demands that an inclusive government should be created and girls should be allowed to go to school and also human rights should be upheld, these are also the demands that the Afghan people support them,” said Wahed Faqiri, international relations expert.
However, Zabiullah Mujahid, the Islamic Emirate's spokesperson, denied that human rights were being violated in Afghanistan and he added that Kabul wants to interact with the international community.
Since the Islamic Emirate came to power about fifteen months ago, various nations have opened embassies in Kabul, but no country has yet to formally recognize it.