Upgraded Taliban

Ruslan Suleimanov

The Taliban movement, which came to power in Afgha-nistan almost 20 years la-ter, has already canceled many of the democratic gains of the previous government in more than two months of its rule.

At the same time, in an effort to achieve international recognition, the Taliban began to move away from many of the barbaric and medieval practices that excited the whole world in 1996-2001.

Experts interviewed by TASS note that if Taliban do not seriously change and take into account the changes that have taken place in Afghan society over 20 years, this is fraught with a worsening of the situation and the transformation of Afghanistan once again into a hotbed of international terrorism.

Human rights

It was apparently quite unexpected for the Taliban leadership that women who had been removed from their jobs were taking to the streets with demonstrations and demanding that their rights be secured. In this regard, the militants have banned any unauthorized demonstrations in Afghanistan, but allowed agreed meetings, which must be reported no later than 24 hours in advance.

The Taliban explain the restrictions on women and girls in obtaining education by the need to create an “appropriate Islamic environment.” Obviously, for this purpose, they abolished the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, creating in its place the Ministry of Islamic Appeal, Orientation, Good Command and Prohibition of Objectionable – an analogue of the body that existed in 1996-2001, endowed with the functions of the Islamic “morality police”, called “Amr be maaruf wa nahi az munkar “(“The commandment of the good and the prohibition of the reprehensible”).

Meanwhile, according to the Taliban, the main difference between the recreated body and the one that existed 20-25 years ago will be that its functionaries “will not punish the population for their misdeeds, but only inform them”, and a new one will be created for women and, as they assure, more efficient agency.

Regulation of life

One way or another, “Amr be maaruf wa nahi az munkar” has already ban-ned gambling, performing live music at weddings, shaving beards and visiting barbershops.

At the same time, unlike 1996-2001, when the militants banned contemporary music, art, photography and video filming, now, as Javid Afghan, the Taliban-appointed director of the state-owned Afghan film company, told TASS, the militants are not planning to ban demonstration of Western films, if they do not contradict Islamic values, and even would like to cooperate with different countries, including Russia, in the field of the film industry.

In addition, Taliban militants actively use smartphones and take selfies, attracting the attention of users of social networks.

Judicial sphere

One of the founders of the Taliban, Nuruddin Turabi, said in a September 23 interview with the Associated Press that the radicals plan to preserve the practice of public executions, starting with amputation for theft, in a loud revelation for the whole world. Turabi’s words were confirmed on September 25, when the Taliban in front of a crowd of people executed four residents of the northwestern province of Herat, who were accused of kidnapping.

However, after harsh criticism from the international community, the interim government issued a decree banning the display of the bodies of those executed without a corresponding court order.

Economic liberalism

Even in 1996-2001, with the strict regulation of public life, the Taliban minimally interfered in the economy, introducing only the bans on usury and the activity of currency changers prescribed by Islam.

At the moment, facing a severe crisis and the freezing of Afghanistan’s state reserves in Western banks (only about $ 9.4 billion), the Taliban did not impose any bans in the economic sphere, creating only a commission to regulate prices to prevent the situation from aggravating.

Attitude towards the Gentiles

Perhaps one of the most important features of the “renewed” Taliban is their attitude towards ethnic and confessional minorities.

A-lthough many of them were not included in the interim government, the militants do not pursue a discriminatory policy against them, as was the case in 1996-2001, when, for example, followers of Hinduism were obliged to wear special distinctive yellow headbands and pay a special tax.

Representatives of the “Taliban” several times publicly called the Shiites their brothers, promising, in particular, not to prevent them from celebrating their holidays, as well as to find and punish those responsible for organizing the terrorist attacks in Shiite mosques that took place on October 8 and 15, in which, in total, did not die. less than 200 parishioners.

Moreover, the Taliban recently announced the arrest of the perpetrators of attacks on Sikh temples in Kabul, promising to continue to protect the Sikhs living in the country.

How long will the Taliban last?

“Compared to 20 years ago, the Taliban are now forced to significantly change their behavior. To ensure the security and interests of Afghanistan in modern international relations, gripped by anarchy, they need to have positive ties with the outside world, otherwise they will simply lose power. “, – said Abolfazl Bazargan, doctor of political sciences, specialist in international relations at Tehran University, in an interview with TASS.

Harun Rahimi, an assistant professor at the law faculty of the American University of Afghanistan in Kabul, is more skeptical of radicals.

In his view, the Taliban have done very little to convince the international community that they can keep the promises of cabinet inclusiveness, counter terrorism and ensuring fundamental rights for all Afghans.

“If they continue to follow this path, Afghanistan may find itself in a situation similar to the one that took place in the 1990s,” the source said.

It is known from open sources that the Taliban itself is not unanimous on a number of issues, for example, the inclusion of representatives of ethnic and confessional minorities in the government and the admission of the female population to education (according to the latest data, girls resumed school in only five provinces out of 34)… It has even been reported that a major quarrel within the radical leadership took place in the former presidential palace of Arg in Kabul, which prompted several high-ranking Taliban fighters to move to the southern city of Kandahar, which is considered the cradle of radicals.

Thus, it is obvious that the future of the Taliban, as well as of the whole of Afghanistan, now depends on which of the internal factions of the Taliban (let’s call them conditionally “hawks” and “doves”) will be stronger. So far, we can talk about parity between the two opposing camps.

Leave a Comment