After a Year of Taliban Rule, Afghanistan Must Not Remain a Terrorist Hotbed

It’s been one year since the Islamic fundamentalist Taliban seized control of Kabul, Afghanistan’s capital. Ruling with an iron fist, the fears of the international community that the country would return to being a hotbed for terrorism have quickly become a reality.

On the first of this month, the Biden administration announced the killing of al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahri in an unmanned drone strike. Under a peace deal in February 2020, the Taliban agreed to keep Afghanistan from becoming a breeding ground for terrorism while American forces agreed to pull out of the country, a withdrawal that was completed on Aug. 30 of last year. However, many believe insurgents holed up in Kabul were associated with the Taliban. As long as the Taliban continues to allow this kind of terrorism, the international community cannot recognize its government as legitimate.

It was only natural for the U.S. government to target Zawahri, given that his close associate, Osama bin Laden (killed by U.S. forces in May 2011), the former al-Qaida leader who was being sheltered in Afghanistan by the Taliban, orchestrated the 9/11 attacks. We also can’t ignore the ceaseless bombing incidents perpetrated by the Islamic State in Afghanistan.

The Taliban’s rule, based on its unique interpretation of Islam, is once again suffocating everyday Afghans, with girls being restricted from attending secondary school and female newscasters being forced to cover their faces. Many are also being driven into poverty with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine leading to skyrocketing grain and oil prices. Piling that on top of the Taliban’s cruelty may corrupt the hearts of more people and lead them down a path to terrorism.

President Joe Biden proclaimed that Zawahri “will never again allow Afghanistan to become a terrorist safe haven.” However, he cannot be careless. With U.S. and NATO forces withdrawn completely from Afghanistan, the countries of the world must make sure the Taliban stick to the peace deal they signed with the United States.

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