Imran Khan highlights Afghanistan crisis during visit to China

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has called on the international community to help the people of Afghanistan and warned that the ongoing humanitarian crisis could affect half of the country’s population.

In an interview with China’s state-owned CGTN media outlet, Khan warned that the ongoing humanitarian crisis is getting worse and that it is threatening about half of all Afghans.

He said: “This is the first time that there is chance of peace because there is no conflict going on right now in Afghanistan but the problem now is the prospect of a huge humanitarian crisis because Afghanistan was dependent upon foreign aid until the Taliban (Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan) government took over; 75 percent of the budget of the Afghanistan government came from foreign aid so once that aid left, the whole government is in a serious state of crisis.”

“They (IEA) cannot deliver the services because they don’t have money and their foreign reserves have been frozen,” Khan added.

Khan, who was on a two-day visit to China, also discussed Beijing’s continuation of humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan and the freezing of Afghanistan’s assets by the US with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Khan said: “It is the duty of all countries including China, Pakistan and the European Union to think about the 40 million oppressed Afghans.”

IEA officials have repeatedly called on the US and the international community to release Afghanistan’s frozen assets.

Suhail Shaheen, IEA’s designated permanent representative to the United Nations, stated: “The current situation has been imposed on Afghanistan. There is a humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan. We did our best to resolve the crisis in the last six months and we will continue [efforts] in order to reduce suffering, hardship and difficulties of our people. But the international community has to assist us so that they do not punish people of Afghanistan by imposing unjustified sanctions.”

Khan’s comments meanwhile come a day after the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said that the situation in Afghanistan was “deteriorating”.