Muslim diplomacy to the rescue of the isolated Taliban Emirate

Members of the Taliban delegation on Tuesday arrived in Doha, the capital of Qatar, for a meeting with foreign diplomats. / AFP

Two months later, no one recognizes the new Afghan regime and Turkey and Indonesia lead an initiative that asks them to reconsider their policy towards women

Two months after its establishment, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan continues to await international recognition. But no country has yet taken that step and those who meet with the Taliban put the same condition on them: respect the rights of women. The Islamists maintain an intense diplomatic agenda to obtain that support or, at least, so that the sanctions are lifted and they can face the serious humanitarian situation, so far without success.

In the last week, those responsible for the Emirate have met in Doha with envoys from the United States, ten European countries and the European Union (EU) and on Tuesday a large summit will be held in Moscow between Russia, the United States, China and Pakistan. to try to unite positions on the situation that Afghanistan is going through.

Given the lack of progress so far, Turkey and Indonesia are leading an initiative by Muslim countries to try to soften the rigorous vision of Islam imposed in the Emirate and make them see, for example, that vetoing girls’ access to education is a distortion of Islam. The Taliban have also removed women from most public positions in the ministries and closed the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, now held by the Ministry of Development, Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice.

THE KEYS:

  • No flights.
    The only company operating at Kabul airport has stopped doing so this week

  • Fear of the future.
    The UN numbers more than 500,000 citizens who could flee when the borders are opened

The Afghan delegation flew to Ankara on Thursday led by Acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi. Turkey has shown its intention to build bridges from day one and its head of diplomacy, Mevlut Cavusoglu, reminded the international community “of the importance of establishing relations with the Taliban administration” and differentiated between “recognizing” and “establishing ties” with the Emirate, a model similar to the one operating in Gaza with Hamas.

What Turkey is looking for is a relaxation of the measures adopted by organizations such as the World Bank so that “the Afghan economy does not collapse and salaries can be paid to civil servants.” This international body, like many other countries that had aid projects, have frozen their operations due to the situation suffered by women in the new regime and the return of hangings and public punishments to the squares of Afghan cities.

Madrasas for girls

Cavusoglu asked the Taliban to reconsider their gender policy and allow secondary school girls to return to classrooms and did so “not as a precondition or demand, but as a measure expected by the rest of Muslim countries.” The Turkish foreign minister is planning a trip to Kabul with his Indonesian counterpart, Retno Marsudi, “and other ministers from Muslim countries in the near future,” Cavusoglu said. Indonesia has been heavily involved in helping Afghanistan in recent years through the Nahdlatul Ulama organization, present in 22 of the country’s 34 provinces. Among its projects is a network of madrasas (Koranic schools) for girls, according to the newspaper ‘The Guardian’.

In the absence of official recognition, the Taliban added another failure in these first two months, which is the lack of regular international flights at the Kabul airport. Companies do not trust security on the ground and the only one that operated with any regularity, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has stopped doing so this week. “We are suspending activities in Kabul due to interference from local authorities,” reported the Pakistani company, whose announcement came after the Emirate ordered them to cut the price of tickets immediately.

The journey between Islamabad and Kabul is barely an hour and before August 15 it cost between 90 and 120 euros. The price rose to 2,200 euros after the Taliban victory, prompting the reaction of some Islamists who did not heed the company’s explanations about the huge outlay involved in insuring each plane because Kabul is considered a “war zone” by the insurers.

Deployment of forces

Turkey and Qatar offered at the time to support the Taliban to regain operations at the airfield, a key step also for the arrival of aid, but both countries demanded the deployment of their own security forces to guarantee the work of their teams and this was not accepted by the new authorities in Kabul.

The airport, therefore, remains closed as an exit route, as are the land crossings to neighboring countries. The passport office in Kabul is surrounded by Afghans desperate for a notebook that will allow them to escape as soon as one of the steps is opened. The United Nations raised to more than 500,000 the number of Afghans who could leave by land as soon as the borders are opened. The difficult economic situation, together with the uncertainty generated by the future of the Emirate and the terror caused by remembering the previous Taliban regime in the 1990s are some of the factors that push citizens to flee.

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