After twenty years of war, America has finally evacuated Afghanistan. After the Taliban captured the capital city Kabul on the 15th of August, the former President of Afghanistan, Ashraf Ghani, fled the country and the whole government collapsed in just one day. Now, the Taliban will rule Afghanistan.
Afghanistan was never really free of war. For more than four decades, the country has been suffering. But in the past twenty years, positive changes have been made by the USA. At least Afghan citizens were able to live a life without any strict rules forcefully imposed on them. Women were back to working and Afghanistan started shining in every field. The transition that has taken place in the present time will affect the Taliban as the country itself is economically weak, and diplomatically isolated. Political and social problems exist in all parts of the nation.
The Taliban will have to face various problems while dealing with the citizens of Afghanistan. Five major challenges are listed below:
1. Lack Of Trust In The Taliban
History speaks for itself, and everyone knows the kind of treatment that was offered to the citizens of Afghanistan when the Taliban ruled the country. The suspicion over the Taliban’s current intentions is not baseless, as the Taliban did no good for the country in their previous rule after all. The Taliban was in power from 1996 to 2001 and gave no basic human rights to the citizens of Afghanistan while imposing a harsh interpretation of Islamic law.
The laws being imposed stated that women were not allowed to have education, had no right to be out in the streets without a male blood relative and had to wear a full-body covering burqa. Women of Afghanistan were deprived of job opportunities as it was banned by the Taliban.
Taliban put forward very inhuman punishments, including public bashing, public executions, amputation, and even stone-pelting for citizens who did not follow the rules or tried to be rebellious. They also harmed people of other religions, brutally executed political opponents, and massacred religious and ethnic minorities like Hazaras.
The present-day Taliban has stated that they will not impose a harsh Islamic law this time and have said that they will soften the system and will provide rights to the women in the country.
They have also stated that they want an inclusive government and are holding talks with a variety of movers and shakers in Afghan Politics – including the former US-backed President Hamid Karzai. They have also extended a friendly hand by sending representatives to the Shia Hazara minority, the same community that suffered a lot during their previous rule.
But, even after such statements being put forward by the group, the citizens are skeptical about their actions. “Actions speak louder than words” has been taken into consideration and women are still frightened to leave their homes.
2. Economic Differences
Afghanistan is one of the poorest countries in the world. After the US took control of Afghanistan in the year 2001, a huge amount of humanitarian aid came into the country. International assistance formed more than 40% of its GDP in 2020. After the coming of the Taliban into power, most of these aids have been suspended and there’s no guarantee of how long others will continue providing for Afghan citizens. Taliban did take control over the county, but they don’t have the access to Afghan Central Bank funds that are in the United States.
Now, with little to no money, it will be difficult for the Taliban to run a government. They will need to figure out how to pay the employees and keep maintaining critical infrastructures like water, power, and communication resources.
The United Nations already warned about the Humanitarian Catastrophe with stocks of food running low because of the disruptions caused by the continuous conflicts. Though it is stated that the Taliban had large revenues (around hundreds of millions of dollars), that is a very tiny amount compared to what Afghanistan will need. Even after the Taliban gains some income through customs and revenue from the border crossing, this will not do much for the country’s needs.
3. Draining Of Human Resources
Taliban did capture Afghanistan, but no skilled and capable people will live there. As US-led forces began the withdrawal after losing control over Afghanistan, most of the skilled Afghan citizens with experience in their fields headed for their exits from the country. These people included bureaucrats, bankers, doctors, engineers, professors, university graduates, etc. They all headed out to save their and their family’s life from the cruel Taliban.
Taliban is aware of the situation they are in and understands how the brain drain will affect Afghanistan and its economy. Their spokesperson has also stated how the evacuation of all the skilled people is not good and how Afghanistan needs “experts” right now.
4. Isolation Of Diplomacy
The Taliban’s first regime was a pariah on the global stage. In the present time, they appear to have attained international recognition even as most countries have suspended or closed the diplomatic missions in Kabul.
The group now has contacts or support from regional powers like Pakistan, China, Iran, Russia, and Qatar, which hosted the Taliban’s political offices for years. But none of the nations have agreed to call them the ‘Government of Afghanistan”, and the United States has said that any legitimacy “will have to be earned”. When it came to how to handle the Taliban, China and Russia abstained from a UN Security Council resolution requiring the group to let Afghan citizens leave if they wanted to.
5. The IS Terror Threat
The Taliban has taken control over Afghanistan stating that they will protect the country from further terror threats, but this seems to be not at all helpful as there has been no shortage of terror threats in the country.
The rival of the Taliban, the Islamic State group (IS), has already done a suicide attack in Kabul that killed more than a hundred people at the airport. This attack was done during the evacuation operation. Both of the groups are extremists, but the IS follows a more strict and brutal interpretation of Islamic law. They have claimed that they will keep fighting till they conquer Afghanistan.
The rule of the Taliban in Afghanistan has come with many modern-day issues that can only be solved by appointing a government that is trustworthy so that the citizens receive aid from other countries. They will also have to defend Afghan people from the terror attacks that happen far too often, and they have to let people live their lives without imposing strict rules. Otherwise, it will be very difficult for them to rule.