One and half years after Taliban’s domination, the research of Aamaj News shows that 83.3% of the Taliban’s cabinet composition are Pashtuns and 96.6% of them are their own members. According to the survey, 76.4% of governors belong to Pashtun ethnicity and 100% Taliban members. There are no women and Hazara.
The quotas of Tajiks are 6.6%, Uzbeks 6.6% and Nuristanis 3.4% in cabinet composition.
It has been one and half years since Taliban’s domination back in mid-Auguat 2021. They have failed to fulfill the demands of the internatinal community ragarding forming an inclusive government with the presence of all ethnic groups. Giving above-mentiones issues, the questions as “Is the group capable of gaining internal and international legitimacy?”
This report casts light on various social and political aspects of Taliban’s gorvenment after their takeover.
The Continuation of Lack of Legitimacy
Lack of internal and international legitimacy has been one of the biggest hardships that the insurgents turned rulers have been facing, and yet no organization or country has recognized them. Much to their chagrin, they are encountring other problems as their dying reputation among their supporters, activities of armed ftonts as well as their internal conflicts and ethnic based difficulties.
Once the Taliban tried to gain legitimacy by holding their pro-ulema gathering in Kabul right ten months after their domination, but the people considred their act symbolic giving to their interpretation of Islam that do not believe in people’s will and regard the religion only source of legitimacy.
The world, in particular neighborung countries have always repeatedly emphasized on formation of an inclusive government, while the Taliban have tried non-stop to isolate non-Pashtun figures.
Taliban lack legitimacy inside their group, too. Tajik and Uzbek commanders of them are not happy with their rule. They killed their former Hazara commander, Mawlawi Mahdi, for being “rebellious” and standing against them.
In most recent case, a Taliban Tajik commander, Mawlawi Abdul Baqi Omari, and his men separated from Taliban. He complained of injustice and usurpation of Uzbeks land by Pashtun Taliban. “We do not accept disrespect, and our langauage, Persian, is our guilt,” he said while calling the Taliban officials as “incompetent” “incapable” and “bigoted.”
Earlier the Taliban tried to oust some Uzbek commanders which led to turmoil in northern Afghanistan. There is nothing about famous Uzbek commanders who were known as “conquerors of the north.”
The Taliban showed that they are not able to strengthen sovereignty across the country unlike their claims. The rate of armed robberies, mysterious killings and extortion has increased recently which dawns the Taliban’s failure to ensure security.
Their only effort for solidarity was the establishment of the commission to invite figures in exile that has been critisized for inviting some bigoted ones.
But their measures could not buy them internal and international legitimacy.
Foreign Relations of Taliban’s Government
The Taliban behavior towards people inside Afghanistan has provoked a wide range of international reactions, despite their struggle for having positive relations with the world. The world is still worried about Afghanistan to be a safe haven of terrorists and the international laws to be trampled under the feet there.
Several months ago, Russian President Vladimir Putin visitung his Uzbek counterpart expressed concern regarding Afghanistan to become the safe haven of international terrorists. Putin at the meeting of secretaries of the security councils on Afghanistan said that since the American armed forces “fled Afghanistan”, the situation has not improved. International terrorist organizations are stepping up their activities, including al-Qaeda which is building up its potential.
The EU Special Envoy for Afghanistan, Tomas Niklasson, recently said that the country has once again become the secure haven of terrorist organizations and Jihadi militants.
Additionly, the growth of ISIS-K in Afghanistan has become a serious concern of neighboring countries, and the Taliban have failed to control the extremist group. Some reports indicate that the Taliban members who are not satisfied with them as well as a number of former security forces who feel insecure have been hired by ISIS.
Human Rights Watch has reported of arbitrary killings of people accusing them of cooperation with IS-K by Taliban fighters. The report reveals that the residents of Kunar and Nangarhar have found more than 100 dead bodies in a canal who were killed by Taliban accusing them of affiliation with ISIS-K.
Pakistan has accused the Taliban of giving refuge for TTP and the rate of deadly attacks has increased in this country unprecedently, but the Taliban have always denied it.
The killing of leader of al-Qaeda by a US drone inside the inn of Taliban’s interior minister, Sirajuddin Haqqani, shows that they are still in contact with al-Qaeda unlike their agreement in Doha.
The US and EU have accused the Taliban of breaching Doha Agreement, but the Taliban said that there was no proof of Al Zawahiri’s death in Kabul.
The Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, has called the issue as a “claim”.
Yet, the West has not decided regarding the Taliban, and seems to be in ambiguity.
Apparently, China has been a serious supporter of Taliban in past one and half years, but after the attack of ISIS-K on Chinese hotal in Kabul, its businessmen have been scared.
On the other hand, the leader of the National Resistance Front of Afghanistan [NRF], Ahmad Massoud, has said that not recognition of the Taliban by world is the achievement of the NRF, and has thanked the countries for this issue as well as warned them of the growth of terrorism in Afghanistan.
After the collapse of former government, all countries closed their diplomatic missions and embassies in Kabul.
But China, Russia, Iran and Pakistan were four countries which kept open their embassies, and some others reopened after Taliban’s takeover. Now, some of them are trying to close back. As Saudi Arabia that recently has withdrew its diplomats.
Political analysts believe that the closure of Saudi’s embassy is a step forward for isolation of Taliban, and the group lacks capacity to engage with the world. Some sources believe that the closure of the embassy is the continuation of putting pressure on Taliban and the possiblity of IS-K’s attack on the embassy.
The Taliban spokesman claims that the embassy has not been closed, adding that the diplomats of Saudi have gone to that country for training and will be back.
Moreover, the Pakistani embassy has closed its consulate part after a deadly attack inside a mosque in Peshawar, and the ambassador has not returned.
Taliban and Arbitrary Killings of Civilians
Humam Rights Watch has repeatedly expressed its concern regarding the arbitrary killing of civilians in Panjshir, Andarab and other areas around the country. According to some reports the Taliban fighters have tortured and killed ordinary people accusing them of affiliation with the National Resistance Front of Afghanistan [NRF] and even being “Tajik.”
The Taliban continue to kill former security forces despite the general amnesty decree issued by their leader. They have killed three former officers within a past week.
The killings of religious scholars who do not agree with the Taliban have been concerning, too. The ones who refuse to accept Taliban’s view will be killed, local sources say.
Deplorable Economic Situation under the Taliban Rule
Poverty, unemployment and weak cycle of economy are the serious challenges that the Taliban are facing. One and half years after their takeover yet the people are trying to feed their family. The rate of poverty and unemployment has increased unprecedently, and the vast majority of people are suffering from unemployment. The bad econmic situation has led to insecurity in Afghanistan. A paralyzed system of import and export and the Taliban’s failure to create job opportunities for the people have made the living situation terrible.
The people are escaping due to lack of organized commercial projects with countries abroad, incapacity of Taliban to support farmers, stockbreeders and businessmen as well as the shortage of income.
The reports have dawned that 28 million people need humanitarian assistance in Afghanistan. On the other hand, the Taliban recent order which porhibited women from working with NGOs has provoked lots of concerns. The UN has warned that the humanitarian aid maybe blocked if the Taliban continue to hinder women from work.
Continuation of Racial, Regional, Religious Discrimination
Taliban have acted based on their ethnic and regional desires since their takeover, yet the problem is getting bigger so that the tribal conflict among Pashtuns has reached its peak. The survey of Aamaj News reveals that senior authorities of Taliban are predominantly Pashtuns, and non-Pashtun ethnic groups are powerless in their government. They have always tried to disarm non-Pashtun commanders and officials.
Erasing the substitute of university, in Persian Daneshgah, removing the photos of renowned Persian poets from the walls of academic settings, destroying the tombs and blacking of noted political figures photos, show the racial discrimination of Taliban.
Oppresion and arbitrary killings under the name of ethnicity, language and religion are practiced in daily bases. Furthermore, the Taliban have tortured and killed numerous people in Panjshir acusing them of affiliation with the National Resistance Front of Afghanistan led by Ahmad Massoud. They also have several times conducted house-to-house search in Tajik residential area in Kabul.
Lack of dominant figures in number of Taliban’s senior officials from other ethnic background has given more freedom to the fighters to practice racism against other non-Pashtuns.
Rights of Women, Civil Activists and Media under the Rule of Taliban
So far the Taliban have displayed vindictive behavior towards women, civil activists, media and journalists. They proved their absolute disbelief in women’s rights. They have violently suppressed protests by women, and continued to torture female protesters. They have imposed strict restrictions on women, unlike their first days of takeover. Women and girls have been deprived of their rights for education and work, as the Taliban recently warned private universities not to enroll female students for university entrance exam as well as prohibited women from working for NGOs. Female presenters must cover their faces, and women are not permitted to travel inside Afghanistan and abroad with a male guardian.
The Afghan Independent Journalists Union (AIJU) releasing the figures to mark World Radio Day said 117 stations have ceased broadcasting due to economic problems adding that 1,900 people, more than half of them women, subsequently lost their jobs.
According to AIJU 223 radio stations are operating in 17 provinces including Kabul.
But Nai, the open media advocacy organization says that from 307 radio stations which were established in Afghanistan only 170 of them operate.
Nai added 48% of Radio stations have ceased their activities due to economic dufficulties and Taliban’s restrictions.
The Afghanistan Journalists Center(AFJC) said that more than half of 600 media platforms have been closed after Taliban’s domination, and hundreds of media workers have left the cointry.
Taliban did not give a part to women in their pro-ulema gathering in Kabul. Some of their senior members believed that men, as women’s sons, could represent them.
Current rulers of Afghanistan have failed to provide the citizens with their fundamentalt rights as well as gain legitimacy. Taliban grasping an extreme interpretation of Islam have denied the rights of women, civil activists, the media and other religious groups.
The Taliban fighters treat people with violence and anger. Yet, oppression, poverty, torture and injustice are practiced all around the country.
People in the know say that the Taliban will not be able to control Afghanistan for a long period of time. Their failure to govern the country and the future of power transmission are two big ambiguities about the future of their rule.
It seems that Afghanistan is heading towards an adverse path, considering the rift among the Taliban, severe criticism and their recent messages to each other.