Afghanistan, a nation deeply engaged in political unrest and conflict, hasn’t experienced any relief from the misery and violence that have afflicted it for years. Many people thought the nation would finally share peace and stability when the Taliban regime was overthrown by a US-led invasion in 2001. The harsh reality of life in Afghanistan after Taliban takeover, though, has been very different.
Everyday living has become a daily struggle for survival due to a deteriorating security environment typified by a high frequency of terrorist attacks. Additionally, a government becoming more oppressive and widespread corruption have helped erode fundamental freedoms and liberties. But, despite the suffering of the Afghan people, it appears that the world has mostly forgotten about them as attention has switched to more recent disasters like the one in Ukraine.
Today amidst the Russia-Ukraine War and the humanitarian crisis of Myanmar, Sudan and Pakistan; Afghanistan’s current severe but ignored circumstances leave much to worry about.
Grim Realities of Afghanistan
The world has increasingly turned its back on Afghanistan after the Taliban government was overthrown there in late 2001. Due to this, the frail Afghan government—currently undergoing reconstruction—is now forced to cope with post-war difficulties on its own with minimal assistance from the international world. The Afghan government has found it more challenging to make headway toward stabilizing the country due to the deteriorating security situation, the revival of the Taliban and other extremist groups, and the expanding drug trade. In addition, the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan has been much worse recently, with millions of people finding it difficult to access necessities like food, clean water, and healthcare. However, the world has remained chiefly mute on the subject. Afghanistan has lost its voice and been forced to fend for itself in the face of numerous difficulties that could destabilize its precarious democracy.
Taliban Resurgence: Major Factor Contributing to Afghanistan’s Worsening Situation
The Taliban’s resurgence is one of Afghanistan’s most urgent problems.
A conservative Islamic organization known as the Taliban ruled Afghanistan from 1996 until 2001 when American-led forces drove them out. But in recent years, the organization has returned, taking back control of a sizable portion of the nation. The return of the Taliban has fueled conflict, instability, and corruption in Afghanistan, which has worsened the quality of life there. Thousands of individuals have been murdered and injured due to the group’s readiness to launch targeted strikes on civilians. Furthermore, the Taliban’s grip over strategic regions has undercut governance and self-determination, placing many Afghan residents at the mercy of violent extremist organizations. The Taliban’s rise has lessened the Afghan government’s incentive to hold peace negotiations, which has made the likelihood of long-lasting peace in Afghanistan even more improbable.
The growing number of internally displaced people (IDPs) in Afghanistan is one of the main factors for worsening the humanitarian crisis. Over 3.5 million internally displaced people (IDPs) live in Afghanistan, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), most of whom were forced to leave their homes due to conflict and violence.
Many of these IDPs lack access to basic amenities like clean water, healthcare, and education, while others suffer from severe food insecurity, with alarmingly high rates of child malnutrition. Furthermore, the COVID-19 pandemic has added to the demands on the already overburdened healthcare system, further aggravating the situation.
The future of millions of Afghans is still uncertain and grim unless immediate action is taken to address this issue.
Neglected Humanity & Human Rights
Extreme security concerns brought on by the ongoing fighting in Afghanistan have only added to the hardship of many Afghans. The country’s ongoing instability has resulted in widespread bloodshed, forcible evictions, and restricted access to necessities like food, water, and medication. Additionally, it has been challenging to install a stable administration and secure the nation due to numerous armed organizations, each with its objectives.
Recent years have seen a steady return of the Taliban to power, resulting in increased violent attacks and human rights violations, particularly against women and girls. It is concerning how little attention is given to Afghanistan’s deteriorating situation, which has significant ramifications for the Afghan people and the peace and stability of the whole region.
Afghanistan’s post-Taliban environment has been troubled by political unrest and corruption to deteriorating human rights circumstances. The nation has struggled to develop a viable democracy, leading to a disjointed government with little power outside the big cities. In the meantime, Afghans struggle with extreme poverty, poor access to healthcare and education, and regular bloodshed from extremist organizations. With restricted access to school and employment prospects, a high risk of assault and abuse, and other substantial barriers, women face many difficulties.
But have you wondered why despite these difficulties, Afghanistan continues to receive little attention from the international community, primarily focused on other conflicts and disasters, such as the present crisis in Ukraine?
Afghanistan Post 2021 – Taliban Seizes Control
The Taliban-run Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, a theocratic emirate, is now in charge of Afghanistan. After the Taliban seized power in September 2021 due to the withdrawal of American and NATO soldiers, the government was established. Hibatullah Akhundzada, the Taliban’s top leader, is the head of state of the Islamic Emirate. Mohammad Hassan Akhund, Akhundzada’s close aide, is the prime minister. Abdul Salam Hanafi and Abdul Ghani Baradar are the two deputy prime ministers.
The Islamic Emirate is governed by a cabinet system, with the prime minister and his ministers managing the nation’s daily operations. The supreme leader controls the government to the fullest extent possible, and his choices are binding.
The United Nations and the majority of nations in the world do not recognize the Taliban-led Islamic Emirate’s administration. The United States and its allies have placed sanctions on the government to pressure it to alter its policies, notably how it treats women and girls. Most countries have shut down their diplomatic ties with Afghanistan after the Taliban takeover.
Before the 2021 takeover, the US government had helped the democratic Afghanistan government to establish a constitution based on freedom and equality for all citizens.
However, since the Taliban formed the government, Afghanistan has been experiencing a major humanitarian crisis – Immediately after the takeover, the Taliban government swiftly enforced their version/interpretation of Sharia law, which significantly negated all rights and freedom of minorities and women. They imposed heavy censorship and attacked journalists, academicians, lawyers, NGOs and all dissidents from revealing the real situation of the country. They violently cracked down on the protesters – and reintroduced public floggings & executions.
The international community’s decision to stop providing help after the Taliban took power has harmed the nation’s economy. Additionally, there are worries about more violence inside and outside Afghanistan due to the Taliban’s connections to terrorist organizations.
Ongoing conflicts and violence still rack Afghanistan, and the Taliban have a stronghold while waging war on the authorities and ordinary citizens. The nation has also been involved in a protracted battle with ISIS in the province of Nangarhar in the east. Additionally, armed organizations operating in Pakistan have launched cross-border strikes on Afghanistan, further destabilizing the area. The situation is still precarious because violence and human rights violations continue despite efforts to facilitate peace talks.
Afghanistan’s future is uncertain as it deals with internal conflict and outside threats.
It should be noted that Afghanistan has a long and complicated history that internal and external causes have continuously molded. The country’s contemporary history underwent a crucial turning moulded with the Taliban’s takeover in 2021. Reports indicate that the Taliban has resumed its old practices of repression and violence, notably against women and minorities, despite the pledges of a more inclusive rule.
As resistance groups continue to fight for freedom and democracy and most of the international community continues boycotting them (a few countries like Russia and China continue to support this government) – the people of Afghanistan find themselves in utter and desperate need of help.
The international community must take Afghanistan Crisis lightly. We must continue to assist the people – be it by negotiating with the Taliban or by drafting a durable and workable peace deal. Because only then can Afghanistan hope to move past its troubled history and provide its people with a promising future.