The Taliban marked the primary anniversary of their return to energy in Afghanistan with a nationwide vacation Monday, following a turbulent yr that noticed ladies’s rights crushed and a humanitarian disaster worsen.
Precisely a yr in the past, the hardline Islamists captured Kabul after their nationwide lightning offensive in opposition to authorities forces ended 20 years of US-led navy intervention.
“We fulfilled the obligation of jihad and liberated our country,” stated Niamatullah Hekmat, a fighter who entered Kabul on August 15 final yr simply hours after then-president Ashraf Ghani fled the nation.
A chaotic withdrawal of international forces continued till August 31, with tens of 1000’s of individuals dashing to Kabul’s airport hoping to be evacuated on any flight out of Afghanistan.
Pictures of crowds storming the airport, climbing atop plane — and a few clinging to a departing US navy cargo airplane because it rolled down the runway — aired on information bulletins all over the world.
Authorities have to date not introduced any official celebrations to mark the anniversary, however state tv stated it might air particular programmes.
Taliban fighters, nevertheless, expressed happiness that their motion was now in energy — at the same time as assist businesses say that half the nation’s 38 million individuals face excessive poverty.
“The time when we entered Kabul, and when the Americans left, those were moments of joy,” stated Hekmat, now a member of the particular forces guarding the presidential palace.
– ‘Life has misplaced its that means’ –
However for odd Afghans — particularly ladies — the return of the Taliban has solely elevated hardships.
Initially, the Taliban promised a softer model of the cruel Islamist rule that characterised their first stint in energy from 1996 to 2001.
However many restrictions have been imposed on ladies to adjust to the motion’s austere imaginative and prescient of Islam.
Tens of 1000’s of women have been shut out of secondary faculties, whereas ladies have been barred from returning to many authorities jobs.
And in Might, they have been ordered to completely cowl up in public, ideally with an all-encompassing burqa.
“From the day they have come, life has lost its meaning,” stated Ogai Amail, a resident of Kabul.
“Everything has been snatched from us, they have entered even our personal space,” she stated.
On Saturday, the Taliban fighters beat ladies protesters and fired weapons into the air to disperse their rally in Kabul.
Whereas Afghans acknowledge a decline in violence for the reason that Taliban seized energy, the humanitarian disaster has left many helpless.
“People coming to our shops are complaining so much of high prices that we shopkeepers have started hating ourselves,” stated Noor Mohammad, a shopkeeper from Kandahar, the de facto energy centre of the Taliban.
For Taliban fighters, nevertheless, the enjoyment of victory overshadows the present financial disaster.
“We might be poor, we might be facing hardships, but the white flag of Islam will now fly high forever in Afghanistan”, stated a fighter guarding a public park in Kabul.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV workers and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)