27 September 2023

AFGHANISTAN: Taliban ‘destroying public services’

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Afghanistan’s Independent Administrative Reform and Civil Service Commission is collecting disturbing reports from areas of the country overrun by Taliban insurgents.

The Commission, an Afghan Government Agency, said public infrastructure has been destroyed and social services halted in many Taliban-controlled areas.

In a statement, the Commission said around 13 million people were now without public services.

“All evidence suggests the Taliban still believe in restoring their old system of the emirate, in which an unelected religious leader, or emir, is the ultimate decision-maker,” the Commission said.

It said male Public Servants caught in these areas had been ordered to grow beards and attend mosques and there were reports of women being forcibly married off to Taliban fighters.

“The Taliban don’t believe in democracy,” the Commission said.

“They just want the collapse of the Government so they can reconquer Afghanistan and reimpose their system,” it said.

It said the Taliban’s revival of its extremist policies in rural areas had filled many Public Servants working in the cities with dread.

Sanam Sadat, working in the Faryab provincial capital of Maimana which is still under Government control, said she was worried that women would return to the dark days of the past “when we were just housewives and banned from taking part in society, culture, politics, and even sport”.

“What happens when the Taliban takes over the cities? What will happen to women then?” Ms Sadat asked.

Kabul, 27 July 2021

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