Statement of the Diplomatic Missions of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan: Marking One Year of the Taliban’s Military Takeover
15 August 2022
Today marks one year since the Taliban’s forced takeover and occupation of Afghanistan, which plunged the country into a deep political, humanitarian, economic, human rights and security crises. Afghan citizens are deprived of basic services and face grave human rights abuses and violations, poverty, repression, and fear.
Almost overnight, the Taliban militant group rolled back hard-won gains achieved through the joint effort and sacrifice of the people of Afghanistan and the international community since 2001. Despite the violent and illegitimate nature of the Taliban takeover, they were offered the opportunity to deliver on expressed commitments in relation to the fundamental rights of all Afghans, especially women and girls, inclusive and representative governance, as well as the binding obligations that Afghanistan will not become a safe haven for international terrorism. Many countries and international organizations adopted a policy of dialogue and engagement with the group, in the hope that such interaction would positively influence the Taliban’s approach and actions toward the people’s expectations.
One year on, the Taliban have not only totally failed to deliver on all their commitments but re-enacted draconian policies and directives. Among others, the group has banned girls from attending secondary education and systematically erased women and girls from public life by restricting their fundamental rights to work and play an active role in society. Preventing girls from education not only constitutes a grave human rights violation but also jeopardizes the country’s progress and future.
Arbitrary detentions, including of women activists, forced disappearances and forced displacements, collective punishment, including of minority groups, media crackdowns, extra-judicial killings, and torture, including of former members of the national security forces and government officials constitute normal practices under Taliban rule. These and other measures have perpetuated a climate of absolute fear and physical and psychological insecurity, forcing hundreds of thousands of Afghans to leave the country.
The Taliban have rejected consistent national and international appeals for the creation of an inclusive and representative government, which is critical for political stability and strengthening national trust in the country. Various political actors, from across different social, ethnic and political spectrums have explicitly expressed their readiness to engage in dialogue to reach a political understanding and consensus, based on the need for a viable political solution to the situation in Afghanistan, as highlighted in various platforms and processes.
However, the Taliban as underlined in their manifesto released in May 2022, which rejects any kind of people-based government, remain defiant on the continuation of their exclusive and repressive rule against the desire and demands of the absolute majority of the Afghan people and the international community, pushing the country on a dangerous trajectory.
Several known international and regional terrorist and extremist groups have found a re-invigorated presence in Afghanistan. The killing of Ayman Al-Zawahiri, leader of Al-Qaeda in Kabul, affirmed that the Taliban are hosting and sheltering a coterie of foreign terrorist groups, which are threatening the security and stability of Afghanistan, the region, and the wider world.
We believe that given the Taliban’s unwillingness and inability to deliver on their expressed commitments, and the deteriorating security, humanitarian, economic, human rights, political, and social situation in Afghanistan, the international community should adopt a new and adjusted approach. To improve and stabilize the situation such an approach could include the following:
1. Establish effective and meaningful forms of engagement at bilateral and multilateral fora in order to exert pressure on the group to respond to the demands of the people for a political process leading to inclusive and legitimate governance. Afghanistan’s future will have to include the Taliban, but not be determined and dominated by them.
2. Engage and work with committed personalities of integrity who enjoy support from democratic constituencies. The people of Afghanistan are still determined to improve the situation and assume control of their future destiny. Experience shows that no system can survive in our diverse society without respecting and embracing the will of the people.
3. Adopt more coordinated and effective measures to address the dangerous threat emanating from the presence of various foreign terrorist groups, which constitute a major security threat for Afghanistan, our region, and the wider world.
4. Reinforce the UN travel ban for concerned Taliban leaders, as the group has continuously misused travel-ban exemptions by refusing to engage in any meaningful dialogue for a political settlement, as well as to enlist new individuals in the sanctions regime for violating the rights of the people of Afghanistan.
5. Enhancing humanitarian assistance to meet the urgent life-saving and life-sustaining needs of the Afghan people.
6. Enhance support for the preservation of the fundamental human rights of the people of Afghanistan, including the protection of the rights of women, girls, and other vulnerable groups. Robust international accountability measures should be put in place to deter further human rights, abuse of women’s rights and international humanitarian law violations.
7. We call on the international community and the United Nations to seek pragmatic solutions to the current economic, political and humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan through putting in place all necessary measures to meet the urgent needs of the people of Afghanistan.
The diplomatic missions of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan will continue to fulfill our historic responsibility at this crucial juncture in our nation’s life by representing the concerns, demands, and aspirations of millions of our voiceless compatriots. We remain firmly committed to meeting the needs of our growing and vibrant diaspora community including by providing continued consular services. We further remain committed to working closely with the host countries, friends of Afghanistan, and our diaspora community and contributing however possible to the ongoing international efforts to achieve a peaceful, stable, and democratic Afghanistan in which the rights, honor, dignity, and will of our people are upheld.
We express our gratitude to the international community for their continued commitment to the people of Afghanistan at this difficult point in time in our nation’s history.