Afghan refugees in Chaman, Pakistan, September 2021

I joined a panel on Pakistan’s PTV World on Wednesday to discuss humanitarian aid amid the crisis for millions of Afghanistan’s civilians.

We consider if it is possible to provide assistance, with 14 million people in food poverty and facing the Afghan winter, and still seek good governance and respect for rights by the Taliban.

The other panellists are Brigadier Saad Muhammad, the Pakistani military attaché to Kabul between 2003 and 2006, and a Pakistani political economist. The host is Farrukh Pitafi.

This commitment to aid by the international community is a test of the Taliban.

Will the Taliban agree to allow this assistance to enter the country? Will they allow the NGOs to operate?

If the Taliban interfere, that’s almost a deal-breaker for further discussions.