| 26 May 2024, Sunday |

United Nations Security Council extends Taliban’s travel ban waiver

In order to allow travels required to participate in the peace and reconciliation process, The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has decided to extend the waiver on travel ban imposed on several top Taliban officials, the UNSC announced.

The leaders exempted include Abdul Ghani Baradar who is the co-founder of Taliban and the current acting first deputy prime minister of the Taliban government including Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai Padshah Khan, Zia-ur-Rahman Madani, Khairullah Khairkhwah among others.

The move by the UNSC means Taliban leaders can now travel to Doha where peace negotiations had taken place earlier. The exemption extends from September 23 to December 22 covering a 90-day period.

“The committee has also decided to grant a limited asset freeze exemption only for financing exempted travels,” UNSC said.

The Taliban leaders were part of the negotiating team in Qatar. The waiver on the travel ban was reportedly requested by the United States.

The move by the Biden administration is reportedly aimed at encouraging the Taliban to abide by its human rights and anti-terrorism commitments made earlier.

At least 14 members of the Taliban’s interim government in Kabul are on the UNSC terrorism blacklist which includes acting Prime Minister Mohammad Hassan Akhund.

The waiver comes on the heels of the Taliban asking the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to speak at the UN.

The Taliban have appointed Mohammad Suhail Shaheen as the group’s permanent representative at the UN.