Afghans mark six months of Taliban rule
Kabul, Feb 15 (EFE).- Six months after coming to power in Afghanistan, the Taliban are still grappling with the challenges of governance and securing international recognition amid a severe humanitarian crisis and a deterioration of human rights.
The hardline Islamist group pledged to form a government that retained civil servants and ensured the representation of the country’s diverse ethnic groups and women but instead handed the top decision-making roles to its own male members in a move criticized by political opposition and social activists at home and abroad.
“The Taliban government has been in power for six months but it has not been able to be recognized by the international community,” Ahmad Saeedi, a political analyst, told Efe.
“They have also not been accepted as a legitimate government by Afghan society.”
Others, like Fazal Hadi Wazin, disagree.
“In the last six months the Islamic Emirate government has been doing well in terms of governance, as the war ended, the security situation improved and the islands of power in the country have been eliminated,” the political analyst told Efe.
“They have built a strong centralized government,” he added, acknowledging, however, the regime lacked ethnic diversity and an active diplomatic approach to build international relations.
The regime has also managed to reduce the number of Islamic State attacks in Afghanistan, events that occurred with greater frequency amid the instability in the aftermath of the sudden regime change last August.
But international entities such as the United Nations have warned that the Taliban have carried out targeted killings of former members of the now defunct Afghan forces.
ON THE BRINK OF COLLAPSE
While the Taliban government attempts to bridge the gaps with the international community, the Afghan people are trying to eke out a living amid a severe socio-economic crisis, fueled by the drying up of foreign aid that once propped up the country’s public institutions and the freezing of offshore assets.
Since the Taliban takeover, private sector activity has decreased 40% and hundreds of factories have ground to a halt while many workers in the public sector, including teachers and civil servants, have not been paid in months.
With no signs of reprieve in what has become a grinding humanitarian crisis, an estimated 24 million Afghans are in desperate need of aid.
The lack of international funding has taken a serious toll on the country’s healthcare system, which is blighted by shortages in equipment and medical personnel.
International aid accounted for 95% of public health funding in Afghanistan under the previous government.
THE PLIGHT OF WOMEN
In the last six months, Afghanistan’s women have watched as two decades of advances in their human rights situation were reversed.
The Taliban have dissolved the former ministry of women’s affairs, restricted women’s access to work and education, banned them from sporting activities and kept them out of decision-making roles in government.
“In the last twenty years we had great achievements in every field of society that women contributed to, but in six months (…) all our dreams seem to have vanished,” Hamasa Jahanbin, a women rights activist, told EFE.
The whereabouts of a number of women’s rights activists detained for protesting against Taliban reforms last month remains unknown.