What has changed in Afghanistan during the year of the Taliban rule
Did the Taliban keep their promises after coming to power A year ago, the Taliban, having occupied Kabul, became the sole ruling force in Afghanistan. How life in the country has changed during this time and whether the Taliban fulfilled their promises then – in the material of RBC jpg 673w” media=”(max-width: 320px) and (-webkit-min-device-pixel-ratio: 2), (max-width: 320px) and (min-resolution: 192dpi)” >
On August 15, 2021, militants of the Taliban terrorist movement banned in Russia practically without a fight, they occupied the Afghan capital of Kabul and established their power in the country. The government of Ashraf Ghani, the country's former president, did not last more than four months from the moment the US began to withdraw troops from the country.
Having come to power, the Taliban declared his readiness to interact with the world, create a government that will include representatives from all over the country, and also ensure the basic rights of the population, including women. In practice, most of what was promised at that time was never fulfilled within a year.
Economy and human rights
After the fall of Ghani's government, the Afghan economy collapsed. The arrival of the Taliban in a poor, civil war-ravaged country stopped receiving foreign aid, which previously amounted to 45% of national GDP, according to a World Bank report on the causes of the crisis in Afghanistan. Foreign assets of the country's Central Bank worth about $9.2 billion were frozen.
The humanitarian situation has worsened: 20 million people, or half of the country's population, are now experiencing food shortages.
“They stole our money from us and we are required to show the results of our board” Tell me, if you turn off the water for irrigation in our garden, and then demand from us to show the fruits grown in the garden, what will we answer you? this is how the head of the current Afghan Foreign Ministry, Amir Khan Muttaki, responded to criticism at a conference in Tashkent at the end of July (he was quoted by an expert on Central Asian countries Arkady Dubnov).
There has been a significant outflow of human capital— tens of thousands of highly skilled workers fled the country. In addition, restrictions were imposed on the work of women in the private and public sectors. As a result, the number of women employed in the economy has fallen sharply. From 1998 to 2019, the proportion of women has increased from 15% to 22% of all employees. However, in 2021, this figure fell again to 15%. At the same time, the Taliban promised that they would respect the rights of women and allow them to work, provided that they wear a veil.
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In March of this year, after a six-month break, secondary schools were opened in Afghanistan, but girls were not admitted to education. The restriction affected 1.1 million Afghan schoolgirls, the UN calculated. In May, the Taliban government's interior minister Sirajuddin Haqqani assured that the authorities are currently developing a mechanism that will make the education of girls possible. “Nobody is against education for women, and girls are already allowed to go to school until the sixth grade. As for the older age, work continues on the mechanism, & mdash; he said in an interview with CNN.
When the Taliban first came to power, there were fears that they would begin to persecute and execute their opponents. Experts from the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) counted 160 cases of extrajudicial killings of former civil servants. Of these, 59 people were accused of collaborating with the Islamic State banned in Russia. (IG), 18— with the Afghan National Resistance Front, led by warlord Ahmad Masood Jr. The mission report, released on July 20, also mentions 178 extrajudicial arrests.
If the situation in Afghanistan has deteriorated in terms of civil liberties, there is still an improvement in security, the same says UNAMA report. The head of the mission, Markus Potzel, speaking on July 26 at the opening of a conference on Afghan issues in Tashkent, confirmed that there is a positive trend, said that he personally moved freely in Afghanistan for ten days.
The number of victims of armed violence in Afghanistan, according to the UN, remains high: from August 15, 2021 to June 15, 2022, about 700 people were killed and another 1,406 were injured. However, this is several times less than in previous years, when the country was at war. In addition, more than half of the victims in 2021–2022— the result of terrorist attacks organized by the Vilayat Khorasan group, the Afghan affiliate of ISIS. So, in October last year, only one terrorist attack in a Shiite mosque in Kunduz killed about 100 people.
The number of militants of the Islamic State terrorist group has grown in the country— from 2,000 to 6,000 militants, Zamir Kabulov, the special envoy of the Russian President for Afghanistan, said at the end of July (the Taliban deny such an estimate.). Also, according to Kabulov, the Taliban have not achieved a reduction in opium poppy crops— raw material for the production of heroin.
In early August, US President Joseph Biden said that on July 31 in Kabul, during the operation of the American special services, the leader of the terrorist group Al-Qaeda was killed. (banned in Russia) Ayman al-Zawahiri. This is so far the first and last American strike on the territory of Afghanistan in almost a year since the withdrawal of troops. Taliban government spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said that the country's authorities did not know that al-Zawahiri was in Kabul, and also condemned the attack on the Afghan capital, calling it a violation of international principles.
The withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan was the result of an agreement between the US and the Taliban reached on February 29, 2020 in Doha. In this so-called Doha Agreement, the Taliban were committed to forming an inclusive government. The Taliban promised that not only Pashtuns would be in the leadership of the country— traditional members of the movement. However, there is no significant progress on this issue yet.
“The entire Afghan people must be involved in running the country. As brothers, I urge the Taliban to regard all Afghans as brothers and sisters, even those who are against them and who are thinking about resistance. They need to be contacted and brought back into the political process, into the national dialogue, so that in an atmosphere of unity and with the help of the word, chart the path to a better future. It is with this appeal that I have repeatedly addressed the Taliban,— former Afghan President Hamid Karzai said in one of his last interviews.
Most countries in the world do not recognize the power of the Taliban. For Moscow, the main obstacle on this path— lack of inclusive government. This was announced in April 2022 by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. “We want to move towards full diplomatic recognition of the new authorities in Afghanistan, with the understanding that they will fulfill their promise and create an inclusive government,” — he said.
Amir Khan Muttaki in Tashkent at the end of July assured that the country had already introduced a “policy of tolerance towards opponents”; and “no civil servant has ever been fired for his political views.” He also stated that today “representatives of all 34 provinces of the country are present in the state structures of Afghanistan,” and “attempts by foreign countries to include people from the previous regime in the government are direct interference in the internal affairs of Afghanistan.”
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