A Year after US Military Withdrawal, Pressure Is on the Taliban To Respect Human Rights

A year has passed since the complete withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan.

The interim government run by the Taliban, an Islamic organization, has governed based on an extreme interpretation of Islam that violates human rights. The economy has collapsed, and citizens are facing starvation.

While the Taliban vowed to establish an administration reflecting the diversity of the country’s ethnic groups, this has yet to happen. No country has recognized the interim government.

The Taliban should understand on a deep level that if the situation continues unchanged, they will be isolated by the international community and unable to rebuild the country.

The violation of women’s human rights is of particular concern.

The Taliban have reinstated the Ministry for the Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice, which polices conduct that contravenes Islamic teachings. As a result, women are forbidden to travel without a close male relative as a chaperone and must wear a burqa, which covers the entire body, in public places.

Women cannot hold public office. Secondary education for girls has yet to fully resume, and girls have attended school in secret or are forced to spend most of the day at home.

An administration that heavily discriminates against women and deprives them of educational opportunities has no hope of being accepted by the international community.

The Taliban initially proposed an amnesty to all citizens, but in reality they have persecuted officials who worked in the previous administration. According to the United Nations, there have been at least 160 extrajudicial executions. Ethnic minorities have also been oppressed.

As the situations stands, there is no route to peace for Afghanistan’s citizens. A framework is needed for democratic discussions, as in the Loya Jirga, or grand council, where representatives from different groups are invited to participate.

Poverty and starvation continue to present serious danger to citizens. According to the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, 2.3 million people are facing critical food shortages.

Additionally, an earthquake that struck the eastern part of the country in June killed more than 1,000 people.

While the United Nations and other organizations have been providing aid, much more help is needed. It is necessary to promote dialogue from a humanitarian perspective, even if it is difficult to recognize the legitimacy of an organization that took power in the country by force.

The United States abandoned its incomplete work in Afghanistan when it withdrew from the country and invited this chaos. It has a responsibility to help the people it left behind.

Last month, the U.S. killed the leader of al-Qaida in a drone strike in Afghanistan’s capital, Kabul. This comes after a number of terrorist attacks by the Islamic State, an extremist organization opposed to the Taliban.

If Afghanistan again becomes a hotbed of terrorism, it will threaten global security. The United States and other countries must do everything within their power to bring stability to Afghanistan.

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