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Afghanistan: Taliban's new (old) rules
  • afghan women
    afghan women
A widely known witticism, usually (mis)attributed to Albert Einstein, states that “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results”. If this is true, somebody should have written it in capital letters in the room where the infamous Doha Agreements between US and Taliban were signed. Many tried to advise or to raise at least an alarm, but nobody listened. Priorities were different and, from a political point of view, even though a very restricted and miopic one, it is even understandable. What it is not understandable is how, bringing the Taliban back in power, US and all the NATO allies were expecting a different result and, above all, a regime totally different from their previous one. Given also that they never kept secret tha fact that the country would be ruled according to Sharia. Or, better, to their particular view of Sharia. What followed, until not so long ago, was an embarassing choir of 'give Taliban a chance' metaphorically holding a candle or a little lighter the way we all did in teenage at a concert. Taliban 2.0 were all over the place, flown in private jets all over Europe while sitting with people like the former Norwegian diplomat Kei Aide who twitted last January: “Proud of Norwegian gov inviting Taliban-gov, civil society & key countries 2 Oslo. And pleased - as an elder - to meet Acting For Min Muttaqi. To me, freedom of expression & education for all are priority challenges. But US must release frozen funds to avoid causing disaster!”. The fact that he was sitting and sharing stage with a member of a terrorist government who already had denied the right to education to the majority of the girls of the country was just a small, non-influent detail, it seems. And many, like him, starting from the controversial United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres were joining the group of the Taliban's cheerleaders. Meanwhile, just to focus on women, after imposing full hijab and closing schools, in September 2021 Taliban announced that women could attend universities only with gender-segregated entrances and classrooms. In March 2022 the hijab code was reinforced and so was the ban on schools. Women were banned from intercity travels without a male escort. In November, women have been banned from entering parks, funfairs, gyms and public baths. Beginning of December, Taliban started once again to flog in public people, starting from women. Then, the total ban of girls from universities arrived. It was expected, to be fair, since Nida Mohammad Nadim, a hard-line cleric, was appointed in October as the minister for higher education, and in November the premier Hasan Akhund declared: "As long as I am alive, girls will not find their way to the door of the center of corruption, which is school". By then, the invisible supremo leader Haibatullah Akhundzada, had also already ordered Afghan judges to implement Sharia in all its enlightened splendor: severed hands for thieves, flogging or stoning for adulteresses, and other such niceties. So, it would be fun now, if it wasn't tragic, the 'outrage' of that ghost entity called 'international community' at the latest move of their new, cute and cuddling version of Taliban, those ' new' Taliban so cherished and praised by the world press and interviewed, with the hair duly covered if the anchors were female, on any available platform. They 'broke the shackles of slavery' after all, as Imran Khan was saying in August 2021, and have the right to do what they want with their newly found fredom: including starve half of the country, appointing professors according to 'the number of bombs they blasted', harrassing and killing journalists, running terrorist camps as before. And the list is much longer. To add insult to injury, in June, chief Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claimed the Taliban had met “all the requirements” for their government to be given diplomatic recognition. They did not get any formal one yet, but informally a number of governments, starting from Pakistan and China, are happily engaging with them. And NATO high profile members are still convinced that: “We're doing a very good job in forcing Taliban to stick to their commitments”. The whole point is: have US and NATO being fooled, by Taliban and by Pakistan behind them, or they did what they did perfectly knowing what was going to happen? And does really the US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, who was saying: "The Taliban cannot expect to be a legitimate member of the international community until they respect the rights of all in Afghanistan. This decision will come with consequences for the Taliban", thinks somebody in the Taliban government gives a cent for his 'consequences'? Or for the Pakistan's Foreign Ministry statement declaring that: “Pakistan is disappointed to learn about the suspension of university and higher education for female students in Afghanistan”? Disappointed? They formed the Taliban terrorist government, what's there now to complain about? Better stop to pretend, all of us, and say clearly that the people of Afghanistan, starting from women, have been only a collateral damage in a nonsensical, miopic geopolitical strategic war. Knowing that, in time, we all will face the consequences of it. What happens in Afghanistan, history teachs, never stay in Afghanistan for too long.
Francesca Marino