Conflicts & War

The Taliban’s first week in power in Afghanistan

Kabul, Aug 22 (EFE).- A week ago, the Taliban took over the Afghan capital Kabul as the government collapsed and deposed president Ashraf Ghani fled the country.

Since last Sunday, the Islamist movement has been promising more tolerance this time around, a claim many do not believe.

“We do not want anyone to leave the country,” Zabihullah Mujahid, the Taliban’s spokesman, said at a press conference after their victory on Tuesday.

“This is their country, this is our common homeland, we have common values, a common religion, a common nation. (…) There is a general amnesty, so there will be no hostilities,” he added.

Mujahid, who was appearing in public for the first time in decades, insisted that the Taliban had forgiven “everyone for the benefit of stability in Afghanistan.”

The group is making one gesture after another to show the international community that they have changed in the 20 years since they governed Afghanistan with an iron fist between 1996-2001. Back then, the Islamists barred women from work and girls from going to school.

But now Taliban representatives are making efforts to show on social media how girls have returned to schools in some parts of the country, as they ensured that women are allowed to work and study “within the limits of the Islamic law”.

Many, however, do not believe this new discourse and think it is nothing more than propaganda and it will change after the world stops following events in Afghanistan.

Some women living in Afghanistan have had the courage to appear in videos posted on social media to protest that they have already started to lose many of their rights.

A group of government office workers and activists took to the streets of Kabul this week to ask the Taliban movement for positions in the new administration and to keep their jobs in state offices.

“The Taliban was and is a militant group. They have brought dozens of gunmen across the country. They are not organized and people are afraid of them. They lack how to manage a government. Afghanistan of ’96 to today is different. This group will make people suffer, it has already started,” activist Samira Hamidi wrote on Twitter.

Hamidi added that a week after the Taliban’s takeover, “35 million people are suffering- 1) Banks are still closed, 2) food and groceries prices have doubled, 3) there is no news on humanitarian support to IDPs, 4) people are not able to find telephone cards, 5) government offices are shut, 6) low or no internet.”

Amid the chaos of the Taliban takeover, thousands of Afghans have been besieging the entrances of Kabul’s airport for days to flee the country. At least seven civilians have died there, according to the British Defense Ministry on Sunday.

“Conditions on the ground remain extremely challenging but we are doing everything we can to manage the situation as safely and securely as possible,” a defense ministry spokesperson said in a statement.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Sunday said he had called a G7 leaders’ meeting to discuss the crisis in Afghanistan on Tuesday.EFE


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