In Afghanistan, the fundamentalist Taliban has dissolved the country’s independent human rights commission, which the Taliban authorities say is “no longer necessary”. The now-dissolved commission documented, among other things, civilian casualties of the war. Officials from four other departments of the previous Western-backed government are also no longer required to come to work. Their administrations are unnecessary and expensive, according to the Taliban.
On Saturday, the Taliban announced the Afghan budget for this year: a budget deficit of 44 billion Afghani dollars (501 million euros, editor). Then it was immediately announced that the National Security Council and the Reconciliation Council to promote peace would be closed. “These departments are not considered necessary and have not been budgeted, so they have been dissolved,” government spokesman Enamullah Semanghani told Reuters. “But if they are needed in the future, they can resume their activities.”
The High Council for National Reconciliation (HCNR), the once powerful National Security Council, and the commission that oversees implementation of the Afghan constitution have also been dissolved. The High Commissioner, led by former Afghan President Abdullah Abdullah, worked on peace negotiations between the US-backed government of former President Ashraf Ghani and the then Taliban insurgent movement.
Since the fundamentalist Taliban took power in August, they have shut down several agencies that sought to protect citizens’ rights and freedoms, such as the Election Commission and the Ministry of Women’s Affairs. Despite previous promises that they would leave these cases as they are. The Taliban will also guarantee freedom of the press. Nine months after the takeover, girls’ secondary schools remained closed, and the freedom of movement of Afghan women was restricted, who were already no longer allowed to travel unaccompanied or leave home unnecessarily.
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On Saturday, the Ministry for Promoting Virtue and Combating Immorality, which was returned to Taliban custody, ruled that “all respectable Afghan women” are required to wear a headscarf or headscarf. Women “who are neither too old nor too young to cover their faces, except for the eyes, in front of men who are not related.” The ministry also believes that it would be better for women to stay at home “when they have nothing to do outside”.
As a hint, the ministry said the chador, the blue Afghan burqa, is the “best veil” par excellence. The statement said the long black headscarf, which covers a woman from head to toe, is “acceptable” as a veil. The ministry has also tightened penalties for female relatives of men who break the rules, ranging from a warning to imprisonment and dismissal.
An Afghan women’s rights activist about the new decree: “The country faces enormous problems: no work, no food, no prospects. In Kabul there is electricity for only two hours a day, but they have nothing on their minds but women, women, women, only women. He dies. People every day, our daughters can’t go to school, and women don’t work.
With the medieval alokazii, fears that the country would return to the strict dress code of the first Taliban era came true. Then the women were caught in the street without the burqa or the skin. Making music or playing was also a taboo, men had to grow beards and had to visit the mosque three times a day and museums were stripped of floor images and antique statues were blown up. There were public executions in stadiums every week.
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Western readiness is waning
Now that the Taliban has shown more and more intolerance, the opportunity for foreign aid is diminishing. Afghanistan’s financial assets have been frozen and aid that has been suspended since the takeover in August has yet to materialize. A precondition for resuming that assistance is that the Taliban respect the rights of women and girls.
It is uncertain whether the Taliban are sensitive to the threat of the West cutting aid, the country is rich in raw materials and China is interested in the country’s mineral resources and its highly strategic location on the New Silk Road. Since the Taliban government came to power, Chinese companies’ interest in the Afghan mining sector has grown exponentially. In particular, large deposits of copper and lithium (estimated value of up to $1 trillion) are of particular interest from Beijing.
In addition to the five Chinese companies currently operating in Afghanistan, there are at least 20 Chinese state-owned and private companies keen to embark on lithium projects, the Global Times reported.
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