A group of US lawmakers have moved a bill intended to sanction state and non-state actors who have supported the Taliban in Afghanistan. The legislation named the ‘Afghanistan Counterterrorism, Oversight and Accountability Act of 2021’ was moved by 22 Republican Senators. The bill carries provisions for sanctioning persons and governments lending support to the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, along with entities that have had an active role in supporting the terror organization from 2001-2020.
The bill mandates the US Secretary of State to submit a report on Pakistan’s role in the Taliban’s advance in Afghanistan, within 180 days of enactment of the legislation. The act will also empower the US President to sanction individuals involved in lending financial, logistical, and military support to any terror organization operating in Afghanistan.
The legislation is also aimed at deterring the Taliban from gaining international legitimacy. The bill calls for not recognizing a Taliban-appointed envoy of Afghanistan to the US or to the UN. It also advocates for a comprehensive review of foreign assistance to entities that support the Taliban.
Pakistan has never hesitated from supporting the Taliban, both covertly and overtly, in the terror group’s offensive in Afghanistan and against the Panjshir resistance force. Pakistan faces serious allegations of using military drones and helicopters to assist the Taliban in the last standing province of Afghanistan. The chief of ISI, Faiz Hameed, was being hosted by Taliban leader Mullah Bardar in Kabul while the terror organization was trying to invade Panjshir. In the recently concluded UNGA session, Pak PM Imran Khan in his address asked the global community to strengthen and stabilise the Taliban-ruled government in Afghanistan. Pak foreign minister, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, in a meeting with the foreign ministers of China, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Iran and Uzbekistan, batted for the inclusion of Taliban in future regional gatherings.