PAS Youth seeks closer ties with Taliban-led Afghanistan, asks if ‘communist China’ can, why not ‘Muslim Malaysia’

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The Youth wing of Islamist party PAS hopes the Malaysian government will not only re-establish but strengthen bilateral relationships with the Taliban administration of Afghanistan. —  Social media handout via Reuters
The Youth wing of Islamist party PAS hopes the Malaysian government will not only re-establish but strengthen bilateral relationships with the Taliban administration of Afghanistan. — Social media handout via Reuters

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 31 — The Youth wing of Islamist party PAS hopes the Malaysian government will not only re-establish but strengthen bilateral relationships with the Taliban administration of Afghanistan.

PAS Youth chief Khairil Nizam Khirudin said Malaysia should make use of its Islamic ties and good track record in international relations and diplomacy to help the international community accept the current Taliban-led Afghanistan, Sinar Harian reported today.

He suggested that Malaysia was being overtaken by other countries in this endeavour, and could lose out economically in the future if it doesn’t leverage on its strengths now.

“What is puzzling is that while the Islamic states continue to be in turmoil, China has taken the opportunity to hold high-level diplomatic talks between its Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Taliban deputy chief Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar.

“China is channelling billions of ringgit in funds to strengthen the Belt and Road Initiative in Afghanistan.

“Ongoing conflicts will not benefit anyone except a handful of bloodthirsty ‘military-industrial complexes’ for the sake of their coffers.

“If communist China can lend a hand to Afghanistan under the Taliban, why can’t we as Muslim brothers?” he was quoted as saying.

On September 21, Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah reportedly told Parliament that the Taliban interim government is not recognised by any country, including by Afghanistan’s neighbour countries so far.

He said there were several considerations or factors that needed to be looked into before the government were to make a final decision on the issue, including the level of acceptance by the Afghan people themselves on the takeover of the country by the Taliban.

Saifuddin said that although Malaysia has yet to recognise the new Kabul government, it is committed to assist Afghanistan in humanitarian aid as well as to reconstruct and rebuild the country.

Afghanistan continues to be in turmoil following the Taliban’s overthrow of Ashraf Ghani’s government following the withdrawal of US troops from the country after 20 years — in mid-August.

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