The Voices of War

22. Hizbullah Khan - Situation In Afghanistan As Seen By A Local Analyst And Journalist

VOW 22  | Afghanistan Situation

 

This morning, I spoke with Hizbullah Khan, a journalist and political analyst, who has been writing about the war and terrorism in Afghanistan since 2014. He has reported for outlets like the BBC World, The Independent, The Diplomat, The Globe Post and many other global publications. He joins me on the morning of 17th of August from Kabul, where it’s a few hours past midnight, to discuss the unfolding situation.

 

Some of the topics we covered include:

  • The collapse of the Afghan government
  • Biden’s unconditional withdrawal
  • The agreement with the Taliban
  • The Taliban’s regain of control
  • The Doha Agreement
  • Kabul Mayor’s retention of power
  • What government the Taliban can put together
  • The general sentiment of the people of Kabul about the situation at the moment
  • What the world can do and what can be expected of organizations like the UN and the UN Security Council

Listen to the podcast here

 

Hizbullah Khan – Situation In Afghanistan As Seen By A Local Analyst And Journalist

I’m continuing the coverage of the situation in Afghanistan. I know that some might accuse me of making this show too long for the crisis. To those, I say that I’m not a journalist. I’m a show host. The whole purpose of this show is to give those voices that we don’t hear in the day-to-day media the time and space to share their story. This episode, in particular, is done in that vein.

I’m speaking with Hizbullah Khan, a journalist and political analyst who has been writing on war and terrorism in Afghanistan since 2014. He writes for outlets like the BBC World, The Independent, The Diplomat, The Globe Post, and at least another twenty international publications. He joins me on the 17th day of August from Kabul, after midnight or a couple of hours after midnight, to discuss the unfolding situation from the ground. Hizbullah, thank you for joining me on the show.

Thank you.

Before we get to the situation on the ground, it’s important to set a little bit of context about your own background, who you are, and what type of work you have been doing over the past many years.

I am from Kabul, writing about war and terrorism for the past several years in the international media. I record stories and features in various parts of Afghanistan during the war. I have also recorded war for seven years in Afghanistan.

It’s certainly no stretch to say that even speaking to me now is potentially at some great risk to yourself. We know that the government of Afghanistan has collapsed. A good place to start for us is to give people an understanding from your perspective on the ground of why the government even collapsed in the first place.

When the Taliban got their office in Doha, the international community provided full-pledged support to them. Particularly, there was an agreement in 2020 between the Taliban and the Trump administration. In that agreement, the Trump administration pledged with the Taliban that they would withdraw US troops from Afghanistan completely. The second promise of the Trump administration is to release 5,000 freedom fighters of the Taliban.

On the other hand, in exchange for commitment, the Taliban also made three promises to the Trump government. The first one was to reduce violence, which led to a ceasefire. The second agreement is that the Taliban would completely end their relationship with Al Qaeda and other terrorist organisations. The third commitment of the Taliban was that they promised that they would sincerely participate in the intra-Afghan talks.

On one side, the Trump administration has entirely fulfilled its promises. On the other side, the Taliban completely opposed that agreement and did not fulfil a single promise. The Trump administration’s agreement was conditional. The term told the Taliban that if the Taliban did not fulfil their promises, then they would not withdraw the US forces from Afghanistan.

When Joe Biden became the President of the US, Biden announced unconditional withdrawal, which completely changed the scenario of Afghanistan because the first main reason behind the collapse of the Afghan government was that the Afghan government was not expecting Biden’s unconditional withdrawal. The second thing was that the Taliban was preparing for the scenario for the last two decades.

The first main reason behind the collapse of the Afghan government is that the Afghan government was not expecting Biden’s unconditional withdrawal. The second thing was that the Taliban had been preparing for this scenario for the last two decades. Share on X

On the other side, the Afghan government was not ready for this scenario. The Afghan government has completely lost its intelligence system, air system, equipment, aircraft, drone, air support, contractors, and everything, which has kept the Taliban at bay for two decades. That was the second reason for the Afghan government because the withdrawal was quick and abrupt.

Maybe I can take follow up on a question there if that’s all right. You’re making an interesting point here, and that is the change of scenario, as you so put it. I want to pick up on that because you quite rightly pointed out three key points that the Taliban agreed on, being the reduction of violence to lead to a ceasefire, complete cessation of any relations with terrorist organisations like Al-Qaeda, and sincerely participate in intra-Afghan talks.

You said that the Taliban had not upheld that side of the story. Can you elaborate a little bit on that? That’s an important point because the messages arguably we’re now receiving are that the Taliban has taken over power peacefully and that maybe the Taliban is showing signs that they might have changed. I want to explore that. To what extent do you agree that that is true or not?

The Trump administration and the Biden administration’s constant announcement of the withdrawal has completely incurred the Taliban. There is one more scenario behind the situation. In the 19th century, there was a superpower, the Great Britain. They came to Afghanistan and had been defeated by the Afghans. The second superpower came to Afghanistan. That was USSR. USSR also collapsed when they lost their war in Afghanistan.

When Trump continuously told the media and was constantly giving a deadline to the Taliban that they would withdraw their forces from Afghanistan, on the other side, the Taliban’s main sentence was, “You have a watch, and we have time.” The Taliban constantly said that they had defeated two superpowers in the past century.

On the other side, the US is on the verge of defeat. After the withdrawal of US forces, Joe Biden said that Afghanistan is the graveyard of the great empires. The Taliban has changed their mindset after the deadline of Biden and Trump. They told Afghans that they defeated three superpowers, and the Afghan government was nothing for them.

The second thing is that the Taliban were ready to resolve the Afghan issue through negotiation and peace talks. They constantly demanded that the Afghan government to hand them the authority of the fifteen provinces. There were some constitutional issues. They also demanded that we should reform the Afghan of Afghanistan constitutions.

Because the Taliban don’t have any roots in the Afghan population, a few years ago, Asia Society managed a survey in Afghanistan where the result was that 92% of Afghans supported Ashraf Ghani’s government. On the other side, 4% of Afghans supported the Taliban. The Taliban was not for the election because they knew that they don’t have any roots in the Afghan population. They wanted permanent designations in the Afghan government, like the Ministry of Interior Affairs, the Ministry of Foreign Policy, the Ministry of Law, the Ministry of Religious Affairs, and so on. That was their demand.

VOW 22 | Afghanistan Situation
Afghanistan Situation: The Taliban was against the election because they knew that they didn’t have any roots in the Afghan population. They wanted permanent designations in the Afghan government.

 

After Biden’s unconditional withdrawal, they understood that the US was defeated. They started telling the narrative and spread their narrative that three superpowers were defeated by Afghans. Now, the Afghan government is nothing before them. They took an interest in the victory and completely avoided the peace process. There were zero results of the Afghan peace process. Intra-Afghan talks, there were many meetings. Previously before the visit, there were intra-Afghan talks in Doha. After that meeting, Ashraf Ghani told the Afghan media that the Taliban didn’t talk to resolve the Afghan issue. They talked for two days about Coronavirus. They were not interested in peace, reconciliation, Afghan issues, and the major issues of Afghanistan to make a consensus on that.

If I understand you correctly, the narrative or the scenario shifted the moment Biden declared that there will be an unconditional withdrawal. In other words, regardless of the Doha Agreement and the conditions that have not necessarily been met by the Taliban, the conditions of reducing violence, complete cessation of dealings with organisations like Al-Qaeda, and sincerely participating in intra-Afghan talks changed the narrative.

The moment it became obvious that the US was withdrawing regardless, that signalled to the Taliban that the US was going regardless of the conditions. More importantly, that also signalled to the people of Afghanistan, who, as you point out through that survey, didn’t support the Taliban in large numbers, but because it was inevitable that the Taliban would now regain control, we saw this almost a landslide of Taliban takeover and collapse of various government centres and population centres around the country almost without any shots fired. While there were pockets of resistance, many put their weapons down and realised that the fight would be for nothing. Is that an accurate summary of what you’ve covered?

I entirely agree with you because the Taliban was not a strong organisation. Taliban had 50,000 fighters, and they were not regular fighters. Around 5,000 to 10,000 fighters were fighting in Afghanistan and others were living in their sanctuaries. They were giving special periods and duration to the fighters. In one year, Afghan fighters were fighting for 2 months and 3 months. They were not fighting for the whole year.

When the scenario changed, an unconditional exit was announced by Joe Biden. The Taliban understood that the US was going without any restrictions because the Trump administration told the Taliban that. One time, the Trump administration completely ended its peace process with the Taliban when the Taliban violated that agreement when they attacked the US forces in Afghanistan. Trump was restricted that agreement.

On the other side, when the Taliban completely violated the Trump agreement when Biden became the President of the US, Biden didn’t pressurise the Taliban to follow their commitments. When they understood that the US was not interested in Afghanistan, they understood that they had no concern when the Taliban violated the US agreement. They understood that it was a time of victory.

After that, the Doha peace process legitimised the Taliban. They got a huge space in international diplomacy. They continuously visited Russia, China, Pakistan, Tajikistan, and other countries. They made a strong relationship with these countries. They even initiated relations with India, which is an opponent to the Taliban.

VOW 22 | Afghanistan Situation
Afghanistan Situation: The Doha peace process legitimized the Taliban. They got a huge space in international diplomacy.

 

At this time, the Taliban has applied a different strategy from the previous one. Previously, the Taliban didn’t capture Northern Afghanistan at the end of their regions. Now they first captured Northern Afghanistan, and then they came to Southern Afghanistan because they already made their relations with Iran, Russia, India, and other Central Asian countries like Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Iran, India, and Russia enormously funded and provided military equipment to Northern Alliance.

In the ‘90s, when the North Northern Alliance, including Abdul Rashid Dostum, the main warlord of Afghanistan, Ahmad Shah Massoud, and Abdul-Ali Mazari, who were the main political figure of Afghanistan, were leading some big ethnicities. Ahmad Shah Massoud was leading the Tajik ethnicity. Abdul Rashid Dostum was leading the Uzbek ethnicity, and Abdul-Ali Mazari and Ustad Mohaqiq were leading the Hazara ethnicity in Afghanistan. They all were fighting against the Taliban, and they were getting support from these countries.

This time, the Taliban first developed their relationship with those countries who provided support to the Northern Alliance in order to get regional support and to prevent and deter the reconstitutions of the Northern Alliance. This was the first strategy of the Taliban. They applied the second strategy. They already made relations with China and completely diminished the Chinese concerns in Afghanistan. They told China, “We don’t act against your interest in Afghanistan.” They also made diplomacy with Russia and told them that they wouldn’t take any step against the Russian interest. Similarly, they told Iran and Pakistan, and they got regional support.

The Afghan government failed to get regional support. If you see it, during the past few months, the Taliban visited various countries more than 25 times. On the other side, Afghan Ashraf Ghani and Afghan Foreign Minister, Haneef Atmar, visited three countries. The Taliban was active in their diplomacy. On the other side, the Afghan government was not active in their diplomacy. They changed the mindset of the regional powers and also convinced them about their concern and good support from them.

Your summary is exceptional. It provides a nuanced analysis that so much lacks in our understanding of what’s happening. I particularly want to narrow in on the point that since the Doha agreement, if I understand what you’re saying correctly, the agreement itself validated the Taliban in Doha as almost a pseudo-government in exile that’s sitting in Doha.

Because the narratives and also the attention that was given to the Taliban by a lot of the mainstream media and narratives surrounding the war in Afghanistan allowed the Taliban to gather momentum, whereas the Afghan national government remained in the shadows. My question still remains. All of the regional countries you named, like Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Iran, Turkmenistan, China, even India, and Russia, why was it in their interest to side with the Taliban?

China, Russia, India, and particularly Iran seek their interest in a peaceful Afghanistan because the whole world and almost all economists agree that China will emerge as the second superpower of the world in 2030 and 2035. The whole Chinese infrastructure will be built based on Afghanistan, and their direction will be implemented in Afghanistan. China would not become the economic superpower of the world with the war in Afghanistan.

China, Russia, India, and particularly Iran seek their interest in a peaceful Afghanistan because the whole world and almost all economists agree that China will emerge as the second superpower of the world. China would not become that with the war in… Share on X

The Taliban diplomatically convinced China that the war would prolong and your intentions and interests would be dismantled in Afghanistan until the war was gone between the Afghan government and the Taliban. They have made some agreements with China. On the other side, the Russian expansionism policy is underway in Central Asia, and they capture some type of diplomacy. They increased and monitored their culture, their policies, their foreign policies, and their export to Central Asia. Now they want to enter South Asia.

Within the war in Afghanistan, they can’t enter South Asia in contested and conflicted Afghanistan. They also want to increase their influence in South Asia. For that, peace in Afghanistan is essential for Russia. On the other hand, there is a contest between India and Pakistan to capture the Central Asian economic markets. India has already captured South Asia through diplomacy and economy. When the terms of Pakistan came, those South Asian countries didn’t participate in the Pakistan terms when the meeting was managed in Pakistan because they all supported India.

India, economically, has mounted their links with South Asia. Now, it is interested in Central Asia. On the other side, Pakistan wants to use its land and sea as an economic hub for Central Asia because Pakistan is in an economic crisis, and it is facing a harsh crisis. Only after the Pakistan economic crisis will it diminish if it uses the links and ways of Afghanistan to increase its economic influence in Central Asia. There is a contest. The Taliban is the natural ally of Pakistan, and Pakistan wanted to reinstall the Taliban in order to capture Central Asian markets.

The second reason for Pakistan was that there was one more issue behind this scenario. The Durand Line is the second issue between Afghanistan and Pakistan. Every democratic government of Afghanistan rejected recognising the Durand Line as an international border. After losing Bangladesh, Pakistan already had great concerns over the Durand Line because they already lose their whole population in the whole country in the ‘70s. Now they are striving to protect the remaining Afghanistan.

On the other side, the Taliban don’t believe in regional boundaries. They say that all Muslims are one, and we don’t believe in boundaries on anything. The Taliban don’t have any concerns about the Durand Line. This is the second issue. Ashraf Ghani has asked the Taliban why they are not talking about the Durand Line. Afghanistan with Great Britain marketed a line in the centre of Afghanistan and divided Afghanistan into two parts. After the emergence of India and Pakistan, one part became part of Pakistan. The second part remained independent, which we called now Afghanistan.

This is the third issue. The regional countries provided support to them. On the other side, the original, the second, the main regional power on the other side, which is Iran, also wants to increase its cultural influence in Afghanistan. They’re claiming that they have historic links with the Tajiks, Uzbek, and Hazara, and they have the same civilisation, culture, history, and everything. Now the Democratic Government of Afghanistan has enormously diminished the influence of Iran in Afghanistan. Iran is trying to increase their influence in Afghanistan by supporting the Taliban because they both have the same religious minds and policies. Iran also seeks their interest under the government of the Taliban.

Again, thank you for that outstanding summary of the regional dynamics. I don’t think it’s something we talk about enough when we look at the situation in Afghanistan. I want to pick up on one thing because it’s an important point you made early on. Taliban doesn’t have governmental structures. It doesn’t have policies necessarily. It’s riding the wave of emotional sentiment and the link to religious sentiment as well. Is this maybe the reason why the Taliban has allowed the Mayor of Kabul to retain the power to, in some small way, allow for law and order or rules within Kabul to continue? How do you view that move by the Taliban?

There are no single master’s degree holders along the lines of the Taliban. There is no historian, no economist, no doctor, no engineer, no IR experts, no sociologists, and no political centres. They are warriors. They don’t know the system because they have voted for three decades. They can’t even speak English. They didn’t attend schools, universities, and colleges, and they can’t run the country. How can ignorant people run a large country because a country needs economists?

VOW 22 | Afghanistan Situation
Afghanistan Situation: How can the Taliban run Afghanistan? There are no single master’s degree holders along the lines of the Taliban.

 

There are banking systems. You can’t run a banking system by the warriors. A country needs a foreign policy. You need political centres. You need an IR expert to establish foreign policy. A country needs to run hospitals. There isn’t a single doctor in the lines of the Taliban. A country needs to restructure to establish its infrastructure system. There is no single engineer in the line of the Taliban. There is no sociologist. How can the Taliban run this country?

The regional powers understood that they need some people in Afghanistan who don’t know the policies, the culture, and the diplomatic systems. They seek their interest in these types of people who don’t know anything about training the systems. There are contestations in Afghanistan among the great powers, particularly the regional powers. They don’t want brilliant and clever people in Afghanistan. They want this kind of people who don’t know anything, and they seek their interest in this kind of people.

That goes to the next question I wanted to ask. That is, given what we know is happening right now, at least I haven’t heard much talk about the formation of an actual government by the Taliban, which would suggest that, as you said, they don’t necessarily have the necessary technocrats or technically-savvy people to run and establish a government. What do you see as the next point? What government can the Taliban put together, or how will it put a government together?

Taliban, before capturing Kabul, were continuously talking about the interim government. It was their main demand from Ashraf Ghani to resign and establish an interim government in Afghanistan in order to resolve the Afghan issue. After capturing Kabul, the Taliban suddenly told the Afghans that they were not interested in the interim government and that they wanted to establish their own government, a religious government.

This is an astonishing point for the Afghans because, once again, they rejected their own demands. Now, meetings are underway in Kabul between the Taliban delegations and Hamid Karzai, ex-President of Afghanistan, Abdullah Abdullah, Ustad Mohaqiq, and Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. Their conversation is underway among them. The Taliban can run a country without an inclusive government because the Taliban don’t have any influence on other ethnicities like Uzbek, Tajik, and Hazaras.

There is little support in the communities that the Taliban have. The main elders, the warlords, and the main representative of these communities, the Tajik’s main leader is the son of Ahmad Shah Massoud and Abdullah Abdullah, the Uzbek’s leader is Abdul Rashid Dostum, and Hazara’s leader is Ustad Mohaqiq. Without including these people in the government, they can’t run a country for one year.

The main reason behind the collapse of Ashraf Ghani’s government is that Ashraf Ghani has, in the second term, sidelined these warlords. They started to struggle against them. Ashraf Ghani has provided space to the intelligence here and the young generation of Afghanistan because they understood that these warlords are corrupt, and they are interested in corruption and don’t take an interest in the development of Afghanistan.

That is the main reason when the Taliban started capturing northern areas like Panjshir, Fayzabad City, and other areas of Northern Afghanistan, the Taliban didn’t capture those areas at the end of their regime. There was a strong war between the Taliban and these minorities of Afghanistan, but this time, they didn’t even resist this.

The spokesman of the Taliban told Ashraf Ghani and other leaders of Afghanistan, “Work with us under our administrations.” That is a good gesture for Afghanistan in order to avoid other militancy. Now, the son of Ahmad Shah Massoud, they are in the Panjshir, and they are regrouping their people and starting on militancy against the Taliban’s regime.

The second militancy, Afghanistan is suffering from the largest war in human history, four decades of war. No country has seen four decades of constant war. Almost 3 million people have been lost in Afghanistan in the four decades of war. The Taliban has also shown their consent to an inclusive government consisting of all groups, all ethnicities, and all factions.

Even the leader of Ashraf Ghani’s government is important. The second thing, previously, the whole Afghan state collapsed under the Taliban’s regime because their military collapsed, their education system collapsed, their cities collapsed, their agriculture system collapsed, everything. Now Taliban should maintain the system because there is not a single sociologist.

On the other side, more than there are more than 50 universities in Afghanistan. They should help the service members of the Afghan government to maintain their jobs, whether they are in airports, hospitals, the infrastructure, or in universities. That is the only way to go in Afghanistan. On the other hand, if they establish their own government consisting of the Taliban, that government can’t survive for a single year in Afghanistan.

There are more than 50 universities in Afghanistan. They should help the service members of the Afghan government maintain their jobs, whether they are in airports, hospitals, the infrastructure, or universities. That is the only way to go in… Share on X

What I’m hearing then is that arguably the Taliban becomes the almost ceremonial leadership of Afghanistan, but that it relies on a coalition effectively of all the various, as you said, warlords and even separate factions within the Taliban as well as trying to keep the public service sector as it is at the moment. Now that makes sense. How realistic do you think that is?

We saw the Taliban’s representative go to one hospital in Kabul where female doctors were working in that hospital. They told the female doctors, “Put on a scarf on your face and your bodies and continue your jobs. We don’t have any concerns from you.” That is a positive message for Afghanistan. They will change the system. The one institution, Afghan Army, will be dismantled by the Taliban because they are not interested in the Army, and they will make some other Army for Afghanistan. In other cases, they don’t have a single pilot in their lines.

How can they run the Air Force flights and helicopters of Afghanistan? This time, they have learned something from the past, and they have changed their minds. That is the only solution for Afghanistan. If they tell the service member from all walks of life and every department of Afghanistan to maintain their jobs if they want to protect the institutions of Afghanistan, you should put your representative in every department of Afghanistan. Afghans don’t have any concerns about that, but they can’t run the systems. The members of the system should continue. Afghans have a lot of expectations from them to maintain the system. They have also changed their mindset in this term. There will be some changes, but the system will prevail.

That’s at least a little bit more hopeful than what we’re often hearing now as well. We have heard a lot of reports of killings and murders, and stuff over the last few weeks. Also, more importantly, we’re seeing, at least in our media, in social media, scenes of absolute chaos at Kabul Airport, even people holding onto the wheels of planes departing and then unfortunately, falling from the sky to their death. There’s an image that there’s chaos in Kabul. Although, through other sources, I’m also hearing that it’s rather quiet. What are you seeing on the ground, and what is the general sentiment of the people of Kabul about the situation at the moment?

The abrupt and quick advancement of the Taliban and, finally, the victory of the Taliban has shocked not just the Afghans but the entire world. All Afghans are surprised now. Afghans were not ready for this scenario. It came in Afghanistan abruptly. There were fifteen servicemen of Ashraf Ghani’s administration. There were just three LEG Army of the Afghan Army.

They were fighting with the Taliban in the 34 provinces of Afghanistan. There are some brigades that were working under commandos, under brigadiers. They killed thousands of the Taliban. There are some commandos. The Taliban are claiming that these commandos killed their thousands of members like the Commando of Lashkargah, Sami Sadat, and the Commando of Sar-e Pul, Hashim Regwal, who was working during the rock star general of Afghanistan General Abdul Raziq.

There are some more people. These are Afghan Army personnel who are receiving threats from the Taliban and the members of those Taliban who have lost their loved ones. If the Taliban give forgiveness to these people, those members who lost their cousins, brothers, and family members, now, they are interested now to take their revenge. In these three LEG Army, every member, particularly brigadiers, colonels, and other big designators, they are facing a harsh stretch from the Taliban.

On the other side, we saw and we are hearing from Kandahar that the Taliban captured almost 3,000 to 4,000 people from their homes, and then they killed them in front of their family members. We are hearing the news in Kabul that they are searching for their opponents in Kabul and going door to door and capturing their main opponents of the Army.

The second main vulnerable faction is the journalists that were working for the international media. They also face a lot of troubles in Afghanistan because they were working for the victimised population of Afghanistan, and they were victimised by the violence of the Taliban. The journalist community has been receiving threats from the Taliban, and they are in disturbing situations.

Women rights activists are also in great catastrophe, and they are facing a bad situation in Afghanistan. There were fifteen LEG service members of the Afghan government. Every member feels insecurity about Afghanistan, particularly journalists, Army personnel, women rights activists, and civil rights activists, because they are facing a troubling situation in Afghanistan.

You saw almost 100 people. They were not leaving the US flight to take off from the Kabul airport. They understood that if they left Kabul Airport and entered Kabul City, there was no hope for life because they knew they committed big crimes against the Taliban. They understood, and the Taliban said that these people committed crimes and that the result of their crimes was nothing but killing to them. On the other side, European countries and other countries like the USA, UK, Germany, France, Canada, and Australia, are providing visas, as I learned, to those people who work for their Army and who work for their injured. These are very unfair to those Afghans that work for this system.

For more than one LEG, people have been receiving threats and suffering from death threats. These countries, at least, should provide one LEG asylum to Afghanistan because it is also part of international law to provide asylum to those people who don’t have any life in Afghanistan. They are going from one home to another home to another home. They understand that a few days of their life is left in Afghanistan. If other countries don’t provide asylum to these people, there will be a great genocide of the Afghan of the previous administration service member in Afghanistan.

VOW 22 | Afghanistan Situation
Afghanistan Situation: If other countries don’t provide asylum to LEG service members, there will be a great genocide of Afghans of the previous administration.

 

That’s a sobering analysis. Maybe one of my last questions to you is, what can the world do? What do you expect and want organisations like the UN to do? What should the Security Council do? What can be done now, given that the Taliban is taking power, that the US is out, and that Western powers are out? The regional powers have sided with the Taliban for their own reasons. What can the world do, and what do you expect organisations like the UN and the UN Security Council to do?

The UN Security Council and United Nations are the only institutions of the world that can prevent the ongoing genocide in Afghanistan, the genocide of the previous administration service member. They can pressurise the Taliban to give these people who work in the previous administration’s common amnesty for all Afghans, particularly for the past administration’s service members.

It’s important in order to halt Afghanistan from another catastrophe, and only the UN and UN Security Council can do that, can abide the Taliban to stop against these people. The second thing is Afghan society. There is a tribal kind of society. One village supports the Taliban, and other villages support the Afghan Army during the past two decades. There is a dangerous situation if the Taliban argue with these people. Those tribal members who lose their lower ones while fighting against Afghan Army will not forget those people.

On the other side, those Afghan Army members fought against the Taliban and killed the members of the Taliban families. Now, the administration has already collapsed, and they have no support from the government. They are living in Afghanistan. There is amounting danger of the tribal enmities in Afghanistan. That can only be prevented by the Taliban. If some tribal elders start their enmity against other tribes, there will be a big punishment for them. In this area, United Nations can also stop these people and provide instruction to the Taliban to stop this violence.

The third thing is a large number of people came into Afghanistan during the past few decades, particularly intelligence like sociologists, political centres, IR experts, philosophers, doctors, engineers, and pilots, and they are facing hard situations. The third big issue in Afghanistan is the brand. A lot of highly educated people are playing from Afghanistan. The United Nations can also provide instruction to the Taliban to forgive these people and provide an environment of peace for these people. They stop their plane departing from Afghanistan.

The fourth big issue in Afghanistan is women’s rights violations because Afghan girls and women enjoy the same freedom as the women of other parts of the world are enjoying now. I saw women in various parts of Afghanistan. When I contacted our colleagues who are female members, they were crying, “We don’t have any life in Kabul. We don’t have any entertainment places in Kabul. We don’t have any space in hotels or on the streets. We don’t have any right to do our jobs.” In this area, United Nations can also instruct the Taliban to provide freedom to the girls of Afghanistan. This is very important for the United Nations to do a lot in these areas.

To put some pressure on the Taliban to allow these arguable victories over the past several years to not disappear.

These cruelties and viciousness are a violation of the international law. The United Nations, the UK, Canada, the US, Russia, and China should tell the Taliban that they would not recognise and legitimise the Taliban government if they continue their violence and if they continue to deprive Afghan girls of their rights. This narrative should be spread by these countries and United Nations.

I wholeheartedly agree. Hizbullah, I’ve taken a lot more of your time than we agreed initially, and I thank you for it. Maybe one last question because I’m conscious that you are putting yourself in grave danger by even speaking to me or any other foreigners. What does the future hold for you? What will you do in the coming days?

There will be no life for us. There will be no happiness, no enjoyment, and no entertainment. Afghanistan will be a graveyard for Afghans. Our Afghanistan has already changed. It was paradise, and now it is changed into hell. We don’t have any expectations of life, of enjoyment, and of pride. We don’t have any expectation from the Taliban to provide us with human rights, and our human rights will be violated because we saw them in the previous administrations. At that time, we saw qualities. Now, they have changed little mindset, but on the other hand, their minds didn’t change completely. Don’t hope for life. I can’t give you an answer to this question, and my Christ is the only answer to this question.

There will be no life for us. There will be no happiness, no enjoyment, and no entertainment. Afghanistan will be a graveyard for Afghans. Share on X

Hizbullah, I hear the pain in your voice, and my heart cries with you. This is a testing and trying time, and I wish I could say more apart from staying safe. The best I can do is push this conversation out far and wide. Let’s hope that the world hears what’s happening on the ground and the threat that is faced by people yourself and those who, over the past many years, stood up against what the Taliban tried to force on them. Let’s hope that the Taliban, in its takeover, will see some sense in retaining the public sector that has been established and in allowing people who have supported the previous regime or the government to remain in Afghanistan and part of the Afghan society.

I also hope that anyone in power in the United Nations or United Nations Security Council or any of the halls of power around the world realises how grave the situation is for people like yourself and that they do something about it. On a personal note, I thank you for being brave and courageous to speak with me to share your view from the ground with the world that I’m in contact with.

Thank you. I am so happy to talk with you. I am thankful to you that you provided your time and your forum for us to share and to listen to our side and to spread the realities of Afghanistan.

 

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