Pakistan urges West to engage with Taliban to avoid refugee crisis

The international community must engage with the Taliban in order to avoid a humanitarian and refugee crisis in Afghanistan, Pakistan’s national security adviser has said.

Dr Moeed Yusuf said “there isn’t actually any panic on the borders” with Pakistan, despite reports of thousands of people gathering at the Spin Boldak land crossing.

“So far the blessing in disguise is there hasn’t been a protracted conflict and bloodshed, so the refugee influx… actually has not come,” he told the BBC’s Today programme.

He said another humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan was not inevitable, but only if the international community “learn from the mistakes of the past” and do not create a security vacuum by “abandoning” ordinary Afghans.

“There is a reality on the ground. The Taliban are in control,” he said. “We must keep them honest to their promises, but engage for the sake of the average Afghans. Otherwise we will end up in the same place. It wasn’t good last time.”

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