With US President Joe Biden taking the decision to retract US troops from Afghanistan, the Taliban forces started gaining control of the country. Taliban controlled most of the country from 1996 to 2001. The generation which has been brought up post 2001 is concerned about losing the progress made in areas like women rights and media freedom. The terrorist group controls 65% of the country. Taliban has captured 8 provincial capitals and threatens to capture 3 more.
The United States of America has decided to remove all troops from Afghanistan by 31st of August. President Joe Biden addressed the press about this decision in July and said, “We did not go into Afghanistan to build the nation.” He assured people that the Afghan government will be able to sustain themselves against Taliban. In contrast to this, recent statements from the US intelligence suggest that Kabul could fall in 90 days.
RAPID GAINS MADE BY TALIBAN
Taliban claims to have captured different places in the country. The fighting has been intense in Kandahar city, where the Taliban group claims to have captured the provincial prison. Ghazni city, 150 km outside Kabul, has fallen. The terrorist group said that it had control of airports outside Kunduz and Sheberghan in the north and Farah in the West. The fall of Zanraj, capital of the Nimruz province, last week was a major breakthrough for Taliban. Faizabad became the eighth city to fall when the troops took control of it on Wednesday. The fall of Faizabad establishes Taliban control over the entire northeast region of Afghanistan.
Taliban has also affected the bureaucracy of the country. In response to air raids against the terrorist group, it killed a top government official on 6th August, 2021. Dawa Khan Minapal, the head of government media and information centre was killed. Afghanistan’s Finance Minister Khalid Peyenda, has resigned and fled the country citing security reasons and his wife’s falling health. Some local reports say that the minister was fired for incompetency. This happened immediately after the fall of Faizabad.
AFGHANISTAN GOVERNMENT’S RESPONSE
The Afghan Ministry of Defense said that they have been able to kill over 400 Taliban terrorists in operations carried out on 10th August, 2021. Some of these were of Pakistani origin. Taliban is being supported by a terrorist network that spans across countries. All these groups share the common objective of setting up regimes that enforce strict Islamic laws.
Meanwhile, Afghanistan’s President, Ashraf Ghani flew to Mazar-i-Sharif to seek the help of old warlords, in a desperate attempt to curb Taliban’s takeover of the country. Taliban is trying to take over Mazar-i-Sharif and the rest of the Balkh province. In response, the President convened a meeting of top officials in Mazar-i-Sharif to chalk out plans for defending the city.
THE WAY AHEAD
Reports of human rights violations come from all over the country. The Afghan Minister of Justice, Fazil Ahmad Manawi said that the country’s children are being forcefully taken by Taliban across the Durand Line into Pakistan where they are being trained for terrorist activities in the name of Islamic education. Afghan human rights watchdog, Women’s United Voice Advisory Group on Peace Policy said that Taliban’s action of forceful marriages, which it termed as ‘jihad’, and other crimes it committed against women need to be documented worldwide.
REACTION OF GLOBAL COMMUNITIES
An emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council was called on 6th of August, 2021 under India’s Presidency. All the members of the Council agreed that action had to be taken against the spread of Taliban in Afghanistan. Pakistan was called out for providing a safe haven for terrorists. Emphasis was laid on cutting any form of supply lines to the terrorist group. Meanwhile, China has also offered to play a ‘constructive role’ in mediating between various groups to ensure peace in Afghanistan. A multilateral meeting was held between different parties in Doha in an attempt to facilitate the peace process for Afghanistan. This was attended by representatives from China, US, UK, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, United Nations and the European Union.