Taliban welcomes UN take on economic crisis, defends hijab diktat

Kabul, May 27 (EFE).- The Taliban authorities in Afghanistan on Friday welcomed a recent statement by the United Nations Security Council underlining the need for humanitarian assistance amid the economic crisis in the country, but brushed aside criticism about the erosion of women’s rights, especially concerning the imposition of the hijab or Islamic veil.

The Islamist government “welcomes decision by UNSC member states on the revival of Afghanistan’s banking and humanitarian aid to the Afghan people,” according to a statement released by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Kabul.

In this regard, it called upon the United States to “unconditionally release” Afghanistan’s assets and lift all sanctions weighing on the country since the extremists seized power in August last year with the pullout of foreign troops.

Earlier this week, the UNSC released a statement expressing “deep concern” regarding the dire humanitarian and economic situation in Afghanistan and recognized the need for “strengthened efforts to provide humanitarian assistance and other activities” that support basic human needs.

In this regard, it called for allowing “safe and unhindered” access for all humanitarian personnel, including women, and underlined the need to help address the economy, including through efforts to restore the banking and financial systems, and also enable the use of frozen assets of Afghanistan’s Central Bank.

However, the statement also strongly criticized the increasing erosion of the human rights and fundamental freedoms of women and girls in Afghanistan under the Taliban.

This, it added, was happening through restrictions limiting access to education, employment, freedom of movement, and women’s full, equal and meaningful participation in public life.

The UNSC emphasized that these restrictions contradicted the expectations of the international community and the commitments made by the Taliban to the Afghan people.

In response, the Taliban said the UN’s concerns on the situation of women’s right was “unfounded,” and reaffirmed its “commitment” to ensure the rights of women, children and minorities within the “accepted religious and cultural framework” of the Afghan people.

The Islamists considered the imposition of the hijab to be in line with the “religious and cultural practices” of a majority of the people and claimed that “nothing has been imposed on the Afghan people” that goes against the practices and beliefs of an Islamic society.

It also called on the international community to respect the “religious and cultural values of the Afghan people” and not make judgments based on “malicious and antagonist” reports by some media or “propaganda” by forces opposed to the Taliban. EFE


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