Canada's talks with Taliban undercut ban on aid work in Afghanistan, lawyers argue – CHAT News Today

OTTAWA — The revelation that Canadian officials have been in frequent talks with the Taliban undercuts Ottawa’s argument that humanitarian groups cannot operate in Afghanistan, constitutional lawyers say.
University of Toronto professors Sujit Choudhry and Audrey Macklin are among four senior lawyers who signed a letter in May, saying humanitarian groups cannot be prosecuted under anti-terrorism laws for working in Afghanistan.
Aid groups told Parliament this spring that Canadian officials warned them that buying supplies or paying a driver to deliver food in the country would incur taxes for the Taliban, which is listed as a terrorist entity.
Several other countries found workarounds in their own laws months ago, but Justice Minister David Lametti says Canada still hasn’t sorted out a fix.
This week, a media report revealed Canada has been in regular talks with the Taliban regime since shortly after it took over Afghanistan in August 2021.
The lawyers argue that Ottawa cannot deem the Taliban government a terrorist group if it has officials negotiating and regularly meeting with its leaders.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 6, 2022.

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