By Selay Ghaffar

Taliban’s sudden and mysterious takeover of Kabul was of course a surprise for the whole world, but their subsequent actions against women was not at a surprise at least for Afghan women who immediately began to feel a sense of déjà vu, reminding them of the gloomy past. As was to be expected, Taliban had no hesitation in emplacing a systematic segregation or better to say gender apartheid as soon as they seized power; and their very first target was innocent school girls who were barred from going to school. And then they went after the female employees and women activists. This all happened in this modern era; in front of our own eyes while the world is just watching them, or in a better case issuing statements.

Women are not the only victims of the medieval regime of the Taliban. The entire population is now at a high risk of starvation, racial discriminations and ethnic cleansing. Hanging of four dead bodies from a crane in public is a clear indication of a barbaric regime, and a trademark of the Taliban’s Islamic Emirate. While 98% of population is estimated to be living below the poverty line under the Taliban rule, the rate of crime will proportionally increase, which would then make the Taliban to exercise such brutal punishments more frequently.

Ironically, the only pre-condition set by the world community to recognize the Taliban’s Islamic Emirate, is a gentle plea to them to form an “inclusive and broad-based government”, which literally means bringing back Jehadi criminals and the traitors, who became wealthy emperors from the loose money they had looted in 20 years. These self-proclaimed religious and communal leaders can never represent Afghanistan’s minorities and ethnics. Taliban, being the brothers-in-creed of Jehadis that share a common ideology, would ultimately come down to include them in power by an order from their abettor, the Pakistan army.

The world must understand that Afghan women have always borne the brunt of a tragedy created by the U.S. The West led by the U.S. invented these monsters for their own vested interests without thinking for a second what will happen to women once they are unleashed. Islamic fundamentalists of all brands, whether Taliban or Jihadis, are the by-products of the U.S. policy in Afghanistan, and the U.S. government along with NATO must, therefore, be held accountable for the current tragedy, and all the miseries Afghan women have been going through in the past 4 decades.

How long more we, the Afghan women, must suffer? Enough is enough! It is time for all progressive women and men to get united on a single platform against a common enemy, the Islamic fundamentalists who continue to threat, not only Afghan women, but the world at large. With the Taliban now running the government under direct supervision of Pakistan, Afghanistan would soon turn into a safe heaven for the Jehadi terrorists. The U.S., China and Russia stare at Afghanistan in a search to find their own their interests, which would ultimately drag them to come along with the Taliban. The path to salvation and women’s liberation is not through seeking help from these world powers and their affiliated organizations, it must come from an Afghan-led movement by forging strong bonds with the progressive movements, organizations and individuals.