A year in Afghanistan after return of Taliban - GulfToday

A year in Afghanistan after return of Taliban

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The Taliban are aware that they are not equipped to deal with the complexities of a bankrupt economy like that of Afghanistan.

It was exactly a year ago that the American forces and the rest of the Nato forces packed their bags and left Kabul in undignified haste, and the Taliban walked back into the Afghan capital after 20 years. There was no resistance. The chaos that ensued has died down, of course. The Afghans who could flee did leave the country. But majority of people living in different and remote parts of Afghanistan had no option but to face the Taliban and their puritanical diktat. The Taliban promised last August that they would not commit the same blunders against the people of Afghanistan that they had committed when they controlled the country from 1996 to 2001. But in the year that had passed by, they did not keep the promise of allowing people to lead their lives, and especially women to continue to work and for girls to attend schools and colleges. They closed secondary schools for girls, and the women in workplaces slowly disappeared. But Afghanistan went off the headlines of the Western media until the killing of Al Qaeda leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri in Kabul. The Americans, who had completely turned their back on the plight of Afghans under Taliban and raised questions whether the Taliban were still secretly sheltering Al Qaeda. The Taliban had shrugged their shoulders and said they will inquire into it.

But the more serious and persistent problems of Afghan people do not seem to be of much concern to the Western governments and Western media because they are now obsessively engaged in covering the war in Ukraine since February when Russia launched an attack against Ukraine. Afghanistan is again put on the backburner as it were. Meanwhile, the people of Afghanistan and the Taliban are grappling with the challenge of dealing with day-to-day problems. The economy is in a bad way. Afghan money is frozen in American banks and the Taliban are pleading for the money to be released. The Taliban are also seeking membership of the United Nations. The Taliban recognise that diplomatic recognition of their government would give them some legitimacy to seek international aid. Right now they are dependent on the aid provided by the United Nations and its agencies.

Last year, China and Russia had tried to work with the Taliban with the Americans out of the way. After a series of meetings in Moscow, New Delhi, Islamabad, the diplomatic flurry came to an end. And the Taliban are left with handling Afghanistan which is devastated by drought and not much economic aid coming its way except that of goods and medicinal supplies from countries like India. The Western media is focused on the anti-women policies of the Taliban. But shutting out women from higher educational institutions and workplaces is part of the larger economic crisis that is plaguing Afghanistan. The Taliban are aware that they are not equipped to deal with the complexities of a bankrupt economy like that of Afghanistan.

The Taliban are also facing another troubling challenge from the different Daesh groups operating in Afghanistan. Surprisingly, the challenge to the puritanical Taliban is coming from the Islamic terrorist groups like the Daesh. This was an unexpected development. It cannot be argued that the Taliban are supporting these extremist groups the way they did the Al Qaeda in 2001. It looks like the present leadership of Taliban are puzzled as to what they should do with these Daesh elements.

The Taliban’s top leadership of Islamic seminarians in Kandahar, the southern stronghold of Taliban, recognises that they need the help of experts to deal with governance. And they have not found the experts they need to administer the country.

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