The Taliban appealed Tuesday for support from the international community to revive an economy battered by two decades of conflict and heavily dependent on foreign aid, which has declined sharply since they came to power this month and now faces new challenges with the full withdrawal Monday midnight of U.S. troops.
“All investors, domestic and foreign: I invite everyone to come and invest in Afghanistan. There will be a positive atmosphere, your investments will be in good hands. The country will be stable and secure,” top Taliban spokesman Zabihulla Mujahid told an event in Kabul to mark the U.S. withdrawal.
The spokesman remarked that one of the main objectives after the “victory” is the reconstruction of the country, and for this he emphasized that the confidence of the international community must be maintained and that any aid given to Afghanistan must be “directed through the proper channels” to guarantee its good use.
“This is a necessity. We must maintain the confidence of the international community in order to be able to attract foreign investment to Afghanistan. We must make a healthy, stable and secure environment available to all investors who are willing to come and invest in our country,” Mujahid insisted.
After gaining “political independence”, “economic independence” is now needed, and for this, he said, “national unity” will be essential to revive the economy, with the support also of all qualified professionals in the country.
“We, the Afghan people, are like a human body, and all Afghans are part of that body (…) All Afghan parties, factions and tribes will be represented in the government. We wish to continue to see our country free and independent,” he stressed.
The Taliban spokesman’s statements come at a time of great uncertainty in Afghanistan, after his coming to power and the withdrawal of foreign troops from the country has meant the cut-off of a large part of international funds, while waiting for the new regime to win the support of the global community.
To this end, they must guarantee respect for human rights, especially those of women and minorities, avoid reprisals, support the departure from the country of all Afghans or foreigners who have the necessary documents, and prevent Afghanistan from once again becoming a sanctuary for terrorist groups.
Even the United States on Tuesday did not rule out granting long-term aid to the Taliban, although for the time being it will continue to provide humanitarian assistance to Afghans through international institutions and NGOs.