Afghanistan imbroglio

As the crisis worsens, the Taliban seem as obdurate as ever

With the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan only getting worse as winter enters its most hostile phase, the Taliban seem not to let up in their pursuit of righteousness and purity, even if it is precisely the kind of behaviour that got their previous government ousted, and which is creating such difficulties at present. While the majority of the population goes in danger of starvation, the Taliban seem to view with supreme indifference their fate, and refrain from meeting any of the benchmarks set by the international community for beginning the delivery of aid.

The Taliban may have realized that capturing Kabul also means ruling the whole country, but they do not seem to have realized that appealing for humanitarian assistance, especially from outside powers whose withdrawal they had forced, meant meeting some of the benchmarks they had set. The international; community has set certain benchmarks for recognition, and would be willing to accept progress on them as sufficient to commence delivering aid, with the recognition issue held back for the time being.

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Unfortunately for the Afghan people, the Taliban do not seem to have made any progress in any direction. There have been reports of the previous government’s employees being executed, while girls have not been allowed to resume an education interrupted by the closure of their schools. The Kabul government does not show the kind of inclusiveness of ethnic minorities, and the allegations of involvement by Afghan radicals in the Kazakhstan show that there is a lack of satisfaction with its anti-terrorism credentials. Pakistan could add to its list of violations by mentioning the dispute over border fencing, or the Tehrik Taliban Pakistan whose people have taken refuge in Afghanistan since the time of the previous regime.

The Taliban drive of ideological purity should not put the lives of so many at stake. Governance implies doing what it takes. At the moment, while the Taliban seem to have realized the need for outside assistance to tide the country this winter, they have yet to realize the need to do what outside powers want to get this assistance.

The Editorial Department of Pakistan Today can be contacted at: [email protected]


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