Tue, 26 Sep 2023

Kabul [Afghanistan], August 16 (ANI): A year has passed since the Taliban seized power in Afghanistan following a rapid drawdown of Western forces that pushed the country into a number of crises which transformed the country fundamentally.

On Monday, the Taliban marked a year since the Islamic outfit toppled the civilian government. Right groups and UN agencies have described this past year as one riddled with broken multiple pledges to respect human rights and women's rights since taking over the country.

"One year on, we urge the Taliban to reflect. A window of opportunity remains to take the necessary steps to lift Afghanistan and give hope to its people. Without change, things can worsen. The Int Comm (international community) will engage with those that respect the rights and are representative of all Afghans," United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said in a tweet on Monday.

The Taliban rule in Afghanistan has led to the collapse of the banking sector in the country, thereby, worsening the country's economy. The humanitarian situation has also become from bad to worse.

Taliban has imposed social restrictions on women, including banning girls from secondary and higher education, even allowing punishment of public flogging and execution for violating the Taliban's laws.Liam McDowall, UNAMA's Chief of Strategic Communications, told ANI that one of the foundations of the continued UN engagement with de facto authorities is the advocacy for the establishment of representative and participatory governance reflecting the diversity of the Afghan people.

However, despite efforts to establish relevant governing bodies, the Taliban have not been able to provide an inclusive structure and a consistent governing vision. McDowall states that the Islamic outfit's decision-making process remains opaque and the lack of a constitution and clear rule of law framework exacerbates this situation.

US war in Afghanistan was launched by former President George W Bush to overthrow the Taliban for harbouring al Qaeda terrorists who executed the Sept 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

The war continued through the presidencies of Barack Obama and Donald Trump but ended with the drawdown of US forces during Biden's tenure.

On August 15 last year, the Taliban took control of the presidential palace and President Ashraf Ghani fled Afghanistan. After capturing Kabul in August last year, Taliban authorities have imposed severe restrictions on women's and girls' rights, suppressed the media, and arbitrarily detained, tortured, and summarily executed critics and perceived opponents, among other abuses.

The UN official also raised concerns about the exclusionary politics that disregards the diversity that shapes the Afghan society.

"It is essential that inclusive mechanisms be found to facilitate broad-based and participatory governance that reflects the aspirations and interests of all Afghans and leads to true reconciliation across the country," said McDowall.

As the Taliban is seeking acceptance from the world, the UN official said the onus is on the Taliban to create favourable conditions for peace, inclusion, security, human rights and economic recovery.

The UNAMA last month released a report outlining the human rights situation in Afghanistan over the 10 months since the Taliban takeover.

The report summarises UNAMA's findings with regards to the protection of civilians, extrajudicial killings, torture and ill-treatment, arbitrary arrests and detentions, the rights of women and girls in Afghanistan, fundamental freedoms and the situation in places of detention.

Despite an overall, significant reduction in armed violence, between mid-August 2021 and mid-June 2022, UNAMA recorded 2106 civilian casualties. (ANI)

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