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Year ender 2022: Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan

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Taliban, Afghanistan | Image: ANI/Representative

Since the Taliban took control of Afghanistan on August 15 last year, the country has undergone a myriad of changes such as barring girls from education, restriction on the press, and imposition of repressive policies which all led to an acute humanitarian crisis.

The females in the country are bearing the brunt of the Taliban’s hardlines Islamic regime the most as the outfit has imposed many repressive rules on women including banning education, work, and long travel.

The Taliban had taken over Kabul on August 15 in 2021 following which former President Ashraf Ghani fled the nation.

Following the capture of Afghanistan by the Taliban, the incidents of threatening women are becoming a ‘new normal’ in the war-ravaged nation.

Millions of people are unemployed and many are left starved after the country’s aid was cut off post-Taliban regime but the Taliban insist on tightening the rules for women.

The capture of Afghanistan by the Taliban led to widespread accusations on the country’s former President Ashraf Ghani of corruption and fleeing the country at a time when it needed leadership, the most.

United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said that former Afghan President Ashraf Ghani had promised to fight to the death if the Taliban did not go along, he fled the country instead, Dawn reported.

According to a report from Dawn, which cited an interview with the chat show “CBS Face The Nation,” Blinken called Ghani on the evening of August 14 and urged him to accept the handover of power to a Taliban-led administration in Kabul that would have represented all facets of Afghan society.

Sticking to their hardline policies Taliban authorities issued an order soon after they seized power asking shopkeepers in several provinces of Afghanistan to hack the heads off their mannequins because “they are idols.”

Shops in Afghanistan’s western Herat province were noticed removing the head of display mannequins after the Taliban regime ordered them to do so.

City mall owners and garment sellers initially criticized the Taliban directive, telling Afghan media that mannequins were also used to display clothes in other Islamic counties.

But Yari, a local trader said shopkeepers were forced to remove the heads of the dummies, according to VOA news. Later, Taliban chief spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid, in an interview to Afghan state television, defended the steps taken by the Ministry for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention Vice, saying they should not be a matter of concern for anyone because “Afghanistan is Muslim nation and no one is opposed to Islamic laws in the country.”

While the government has let schoolboys resume their studies, girls in many Afghan areas are still awaiting authorization, and the majority of women are unable to resume their jobs.

Meanwhile, India continues to provide relief assistance to Afghanistan in every possible way.

Taliban have welcomed India’s decision to return its technical team to continue humanitarian assistance in Afghanistan.

India supplied the tenth batch of medical assistance to Afghanistan earlier in August consisting of 32 tons of essential medicines as a part of its ongoing humanitarian assistance.

The consignment was handed over to the Indira Gandhi Hospital, Kabul.

“In view of the urgent appeals made by the United Nations to assist the Afghan people, India has, so far, supplied 32 tons of medical assistance in ten batches, which includes essential life-saving medicines, anti-TB medicines, 500,000 doses of COVID vaccine, etc.

These medical consignments have been handed over to the World Health Organization(WHO) and Indira Gandhi Children Hospital, Kabul,” the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said in a statement earlier.

India is dedicated to maintaining a unique relationship with the Afghan people and offering them humanitarian aid.

Not only medical assistance, India also have provided wheat to Afghanistan as humanitarian assistance.

Apart from introducing hardline Islamist policies, the Taliban authorities shut close numerous media houses and a number of organizations supporting media and reporters in Afghanistan said restrictions against female reporters are worrisome.

Also, journalists in Afghanistan allege that freedom of the press in Afghanistan is facing serious restrictions and the continuation of this situation will create big obstacles in the way of reporters, especially female reporters, according to Tolo News.

Further, on December 2021, a survey conducted by Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and the Afghan Independent Journalists Association (AIJA) showed that 40 per cent of media outlets were closed since the fall of the former government on August 15, 2021.

Some journalists expressed concerns over their economic status, saying that they have lost their jobs as many media outlets have recently halted operations, reported Tolo News, with local media facing hardships across several provinces of Afghanistan.

Young girls and women in Afghanistan had to suffer the most and they continue to do so as after seizing power and tightening their grip across the Afghan society, the Taliban issued rules requiring women to fully cover their heads if they ride in a public taxi and to be accompanied by a male relative if they travel more than 45 miles.

Furthermore, former Afghan women soldiers also faced the heat of the turn of events under the Taliban regime.

The situation brought many heart-wrenching stories of the Afghan women who served in the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces (ANDSF) to the fore. Jamila, 28, an Afghan military officer in the western city of Herat province, said that she feels like she is living in a prison. She said, “I feel like I am in prison. I have to be at home. I can’t work or go out. I am so afraid.” reported VOA News.

In a recent crackdown on women’s rights, the de facto authorities issued a decree banning women from working in NGOs. This came after they had already suspended university education for women and secondary schooling for girls until what they termed further notice. Taliban’s ban on higher education for women in Afghanistan has drawn widespread reactions from all across the globe. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed deep concern about the decision.

The decision, according to Guterres, will jeopardize the work of numerous groups assisting the most vulnerable, particularly women and girls. The UN Secretary-spokesperson, General Stephane Dujarric, stated in a statement. “The Secretary-General is deeply disturbed by the reported order of the de facto Taliban authorities banning women from working for national and international non-governmental organizations,” Stephane Dujarric said.

The European Union on Saturday (local time) condemned the Taliban’s ban on women working for NGOs and said that it was assessing the impact of its aid in Afghanistan, reported Al Jazeera. “The European Union strongly condemns the Taliban’s recent decision to ban women from working in national and international NGOs,” said a spokeswoman for EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell to the French news agency. Continued discrimination against more than half the population of the country continues to affect the growth of Afghanistan as a country. Since the Taliban seized power in Kabul last year, 18 packages of USD 40 million and more than 30 packages of USD 32 million apiece of cash assistance have been given to Afghanistan, Khaama Press reported citing the DAB records.

Despite receiving financial aid, Afghanistan still has one of the highest rates of poverty, starvation, and unemployment in the world, and its citizens are dealing with one of the worst humanitarian crises in modern times.

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