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Afghan Taliban Mark Difficult First Year in Power

Taliban in Afghanistan

FILE - In this Aug. 19, 2021 file photo, Taliban fighters display their flag on patrol in Kabul, Afghanistan. The Taliban win in Afghanistan is giving a boost to militants in neighboring Pakistan. The Pakistani Taliban, known as the TTP, have become emboldened in tribal areas along the border with Afghanistan. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul, File)

Following a traumatic year in which women’s rights were suppressed and a humanitarian situation became worse, the Taliban observed a national holiday on Monday to commemorate the first anniversary of their return to power in Afghanistan.

Twenty years of US-led military intervention came to an end when the hardline Islamists took control of Kabul with their statewide lightning onslaught against government forces.

Niamatullah Hekmat, a fighter who entered Kabul on August 15 of last year only hours after then-president Ashraf Ghani fled the nation, said: “We completed the obligation of jihad and liberated our country.”

Up until August 31, there was an erratic retreat of international soldiers, and tens of thousands of people flocked to Kabul‘s airport in an attempt to board any flight out of Afghanistan.

News bulletins all around the world carried images of crowds swarming the airport, boarding aircraft, and even clinging to a departing US military cargo plane as it rolled down the runway.

Although state television indicated it will run special programs, authorities have not yet declared any official ceremonies to celebrate the anniversary.

Afghan Taliban Mark Difficult First Year in Power

Despite the fact that aid organizations estimate that half of the 38 million people in the nation live in extreme poverty, Taliban warriors nonetheless voiced their satisfaction at their movement’s newfound power.

Niamatullah Hekmat, a current member of the special forces protecting the presidential palace, reflected on those happy times: “After we entered Kabul and when the Americans left, those were moments of ecstasy.”

Life Has Lost Its Meaning

But the Taliban’s return has only made life harder for regular Afghanistans, particularly women.

When they first came to power in 1996–2001, the Taliban offered a more moderate alternative to the strict Islamist rule that characterized that period.

But in order to conform to the movement’s conservative interpretation of Islam, several limitations have been placed on women.

Many government occupations are no longer open to women, and tens of thousands of girls have been excluded from secondary education.

And in May, they were told to dress entirely in concealment in public, ideally with a burqa.

The essence of life has been lost ever since they arrived, according to Kabul native Ogai Amail.

She claimed that everything had been taken from them, even their personal space.

In order to disperse their march in Kabul on Saturday, Taliban fighters battered women demonstrators and blasted rifles into the air.

Afghan Taliban Mark Difficult First Year in Power

The humanitarian crisis has rendered many Afghans defenseless, despite the fact that they accept a decrease in violence since the Taliban took control.

Noor Mohammad, a shopkeeper from Kandahar, the de facto Taliban capital, stated that customers’ complaints about the high prices in her stores had made her hate herself.

However, the exhilaration of triumph overshadows the current economic difficulty for Taliban combatants.

A fighter manning a park in Kabul declared, “The white flag of Islam will now fly high forever in Afghanistan. We might be destitute. We might be enduring problems.”

AFP

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