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Taliban open to cooperation with Germany on deporting Afghans

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Shillong, June 7: Afghanistan’s Taliban rulers said on Friday that they are open to cooperating with the German government on the deportation of Afghan criminals back to the country.

 

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Thursday that he wanted to see the swift deportation of criminals back to countries deemed unsafe by the government in Berlin, including Afghanistan and Syria.

 

The initiative comes after outrage was triggered by the recent killing of a police officer by an Afghan national in Germany. The attack took place at a rally held by an anti-Islam group in the western city of Mannheim.

 

“Such criminals should be deported – even if they come from Syria and Afghanistan,” Scholz told the Bundestag or the lower house of the Parliament.

 

Kabul responded on Friday to the German leader’s remarks.

 

“The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan calls upon the German authorities to address through normal consular engagement and an appropriate mechanism based on bilateral agreement,” Taliban Foreign Ministry spokesman Abdul Kahar Balchi posted on X.

 

Germany has not sent anyone back to Afghanistan since the Taliban takeover in August 2021. Even before that, the agreement was that only men – especially criminals and those deemed terrorist threats – would be forcibly returned due to the difficult security situation.

 

Critics warn against talks with the Taliban, who are currently internationally isolated.

 

According to Thomas Ruttig, the co-founder of the Afghanistan Analysts Network, the Taliban could benefit from deportations by using them as an opportunity to cooperate with a Western state, which could be seen as a boost to their reputation.

 

The German refugee advocacy group Pro Asyl has condemned Scholz’s initiative.

 

“International law clearly prohibits any deportations to Afghanistan and Syria,” Pro Asyl’s managing director Karl Kopp told the Augsburger Allgemeine newspaper in remarks published on Friday.

 

Kopp described Scholz’s proposed plans as unlawful because “both countries are known for their use of torture and inhuman punishments.”

 

A diversion via Afghanistan’s neighbouring countries, such as Pakistan, is also currently being considered by the German government.

 

However, the Taliban reject this possibility. Extraditions to third countries would be a violation of current conventions, the Foreign Ministry spokesman emphasised in his statement.

 

So far, no country has officially recognised the Taliban government. Western states demand that human rights, and especially women’s rights, be respected in the country before recognition is granted. (IANS)

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