The Taliban on Wednesday vowed to establish camps for returning refugees inside
Afghanistan, and called for an end to UN sanctions amid a humanitarian crisis.
Afghanistan Ambassador to Pakistan Mullah Abdul Salam Zaeef said the Taliban
would set up camps to help tens of thousands of returnees from Iran and Pakistan,
where they were facing "increasing harassment".
"The council of ministers of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan has taken a
decision to set up camps inside the country on an emergency basis and also to
provide relief according to the government capacity," he told a press
briefing. "We appreciate both Pakistan and Iran for accommodating Afghan
refugees, but we also condemn the recent harassment and maltreatment of refugees
in these countries."
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has criticized Iran and
Pakistan for a "very steep decline" in hospitality in the past year,
citing harassment by police and forced deportations. But international relief
agencies have opposed setting up more camps inside Afghanistan, saying the
returnees should be encouraged to return to their home villages.
Mullah Zaeef said UN sanctions against the Taliban, imposed in January over the
militia's alleged support for international terrorism and drug traffickers, had
multiplied the miseries of the Afghan people.
"These sanctions have a negative humanitarian impact and we hope they are
lifted immediately so that the suffering of Afghan people would come to an
end," he aid. "If there is any human tragedy resulting from these
sanctions, the responsibility will squarely rest with the world body." He
said certain countries were using the United Nations as a vehicle to oppress the
people of Afghanistan and prop up armed opposition groups battling against