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The Killid Group
UN blacklist beyond Afghan controlWritten by Killid
Saturday, 05 February 2011 15:36
Names have been added to the UN's blacklist of terrorists, informed Zahir Tanin, Afghanistan's envoy to the United Nations in an exclusive interview with Killid's Malyar Saddiq Azad and Amina Mayar in his office in New York. US will not cease the partnership with Pakistan because of Afghanistan, he said.
Tanin, 55, former editor with the BBC Pashto and Dari services in London, was appointed to the UN in 2006. He believes Afghanistan has regained and promoted its diplomatic status in the international arena over the past nine years and will even join the powerful UN Security Council as a temporary member in 2020.
When asked about the future of the international engagement in Afghanistan after the planned withdrawal of US-NATO forces in 2014, Tanin said the US "has not discussed with us their plans beyond 2014", though "Afghanistan's government is committed to a long-term military and political partnership with the U.S.," he said. In his view, "Afghanistan must also have regional and international economic partners."
Killid: President Hamid Karzai has called on the UN to review its list of international terrorists and remove the names of Taliban leaders to build confidence in peace efforts. Will the UN delist Taliban leaders?
Tanin: This issue is not in the remit of the Afghan Government as it falls within the authority of a Committee which directly talks with the Security Council. The Afghan Government is not going to alter the list. It is beyond our control. However, the Afghan Government can propose amendments and should be consulted when changes are required."
Killid: Mullah Mohammad Omar, Taliban's supreme leader, is in the UN's so-called blacklist and also wanted by the US. However, President Karzai has invited Mr. Omar to peace talks and assured that those participating in the peace talks would be immune from prosecution and arrest. Omar's name could be taken out of the UN's blacklist?
Tanin: This question has already been answered by the Consultative Peace Council: anyone who lays down his arms and joins the peace process will be welcomed.
Mr. Tanin acknowledged that the UN's list needed renewal as it contained people who had already died and of Taliban leaders who had resumed a normal life. Maulawi Wakil Ahamd Mutawakil, the former Taliban foreign minister, Abdul Salaam Zaeef, Taliban's ambassador in Pakistan, and Abdul Hakim Mujahid, Taliban's envoy to the UN, are living in Kabul but their names still appear in the UN list. "Despite President Karzai's call for a delisting of Taliban leaders, new names have been added to the list recently", Tanin said. He refused to share the newly added names but one: "One of Jalauddin Haqqani's sons has been included recently".
Tanin explained that the list is updated every two or three months. "We have the right to propose inclusions into the list, particularly the names of individuals who harm our national interests and this do not stand against the peace process," he said. However, he answered "I don't remember" when asked how many new names have been proposed to the list by the Afghan Government.
Killid's last question was about his diplomatic activity with regard to Pakistan's policy of maintaining ties with anti-government groups in Afghanistan.
"In almost all international forums we have emphasized on the important role of our neighbors in Afghanistan's peace process", he said. "Sadly, the dual games maintain insecurity. No peace can be achieved unless terrorist sanctuaries in Pakistan are eradicated effectively", he added. "The US has relations with both Afghanistan and Pakistan and will not cease the partnership with Pakistan because of Afghanistan", he concluded.