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At Doha meeting, Pakistan backs plan to appoint UN special envoy on Afghanistan

11:25 PM | 18 Feb, 2024
Asif Durrani
Source: File photo

ISLAMABAD – As the international community discusses increasing engagement with the Taliban-led country amid a host of challenges, a Pakistani delegation is attending a two-day meeting in Doha hosted by the United Nations for regional envoys to Afghanistan. 

On the first day of the meeting on Sunday, Pakistan backed the appointment of a UN special envoy on Afghanistan.

The UN-sponsored two-day conference is being attended by special envoys from over 20 countries, human rights activists, and representatives opposed to the Taliban regime. The Afghan Taliban declined the invitation after the organizers refused to accommodate its concerns.

The Taliban wanted to be treated as the only true representative of Afghanistan and to have other delegates invited with their consent.

The Pakistani delegation is led by the special envoy on Afghanistan, Ambassador Asif Durrani. He is also accompanied by Pakistan's head of mission in Kabul and other senior foreign ministry officials.

The conference is discussing the independent assessment of the UN special coordinator on Afghanistan. The report, submitted in November last year, recommends a series of measures to engage with the Taliban government while ensuring humanitarian assistance.

One of the key proposals includes the appointment of a UN special envoy to spearhead international efforts on Afghanistan. 

The UNSC adopted the resolution in December, endorsing the recommendations. While the US and its allies backed the idea of a special envoy, China and Russia abstained from voting.

Initially, Pakistan voiced reservations over the appointment of the UN special envoy. But it is now backing the proposal, according to sources. They, however, added that the UN special envoy has to be "Muslim, experienced diplomat, and from the region."

Pakistan's stance is in direct conflict with the Afghan Taliban's position. One official said this was because Islamabad was no longer advocating the Taliban’s case.

Pakistan and Afghan Taliban ties are at loggerheads over the issue of the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

The Taliban government has vehemently opposed the move, insisting that there is no need for such an appointment. The Taliban administration says the appointment of a UN special envoy is only made if the country is in conflict. Afghanistan, the Taliban government stresses, is now functioning as a normal country.

In view of the reservations, the UN conference is trying to evolve a consensus. However, the absence of the Taliban government may complicate the process.

On the first day of the conference, some participants felt the UN could have handled the issue better to ensure the presence of the Taliban delegation.

Others believe that convening the conference at a time when the world is preoccupied with the wars in the Middle East and Ukraine suggests the international community has not forgotten Afghanistan.

Pakistan's special envoy Durrani held a series of meetings with his counterparts from the US, EU, and several other countries. He also met Sohail Shahin, the head of the Afghan Taliban's political office in Doha, and discussed issues of bilateral interest.

Daily Pakistan Global Web Desk

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Currency Rates in Pakistan Today - Pakistani rupee to US Dollar, Euro, Pound, Dirham, and Riyal - 19 April 2024

Pakistani currency saw minor adjustment against global currencies on April 19, 2024. US dollar was being quoted at 277.4 for buying and 280.4 for selling.

Euro comes down to 293 for buying and 296 for selling while British Pound stands at 342.25 for buying, and 345.65 for selling.

UAE Dirham AED was at 75.2 and Saudi Riyal's new rates was at 73.30.

Today’s currency exchange rates in Pakistan - 19 April 2024

Currency Symbol Buying Selling
US Dollar ‎USD 277.4 280.4
Euro EUR 293 296
UK Pound Sterling GBP 342.25 345.65
U.A.E Dirham AED 75.2 75.9
Saudi Riyal SAR 73.3 74.05
Australian Dollar AUD 181 182.8
Bahrain Dinar BHD 740.09 748.09
Canadian Dollar CAD 201 203
China Yuan CNY 38.44 38.84
Danish Krone DKK 39.69 40.09
Hong Kong Dollar HKD 35.53 35.88
Indian Rupee INR 3.33 3.44
Japanese Yen JPY 1.86 1.94
Kuwaiti Dinar KWD 902.64 911.64
Malaysian Ringgit MYR 58.08 58.68
New Zealand Dollar NZD 164.22 166.22
Norwegians Krone NOK 25.31 25.61
Omani Riyal OMR 722.87 730.87
Qatari Riyal ‎QAR 76.45 77.15
Singapore Dollar SGD 204.5 206.5
Swedish Korona SEK 25.31 25.61
Swiss Franc CHF 305.08 307.58
Thai Bhat THB 7.56 7.71

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