The situation in Afghanistan remains as uncertain as it was at the advent of the Taliban taking power in Kabul. These ten days have been stressful and tense for the people of Afghanistan, with the return of the Taliban bringing back painful memories for many Afghans. There have already been some reports of people being victimised for being relatives of those who worked with foreign forces – despite promises by the Taliban that there would be no vengeance. Meanwhile, the Taliban in their latest press conference, have announced persons who will hold key positions such as that of the interior ministry and finance. Finance is crucial to any success for their government. The UN has warned that by September Afghanistan could run out of food if its economic situation is not amended. And such dealings in finance are not possible without the help of bureaucrats who have generally failed to return to the offices after the Taliban entered Kabul. There is now a need for immediate action to stabilize the situation across Afghanistan without compromising on fundamental rights of all Afghan people, especially women and children. The Taliban have said that, while women will be allowed to study and work, there are conditions that have to be put in place so as to meet Shariah considerations. The rather vague nature of these statements continues to be of concern to women who for 20 years have known a degree of liberty. Perhaps understanding the dire situation, the Taliban have asked Afghan citizens not to try and leave the country, saying they need doctors, engineers, and other professionals in their country.
The question of credibility however continues to hover over the Taliban as they go about the process of setting up what they say will be an inclusive government. There may be some disconnect on what exactly that means; the Taliban seem to interpret inclusive as more of a technocratic government which also has professionals in its ranks. All these matters need to be sorted out and sorted out fairly quickly before Afghanistan falls into a more intense state of despair. Meanwhile, talks continue: between US officials and the Taliban; and between the Taliban and Hekmatyar, Dr Abdullah Abdullah and Karzai. It is still not certain if they are to be included in any new government and it is also not certain how the Taliban intend to handle the situation in Panjshir where there is a steady resistance building up. The Taliban say they will eventually control Panjshir. A political settlement that involves all major stakeholders is the best possible solution, provided the Taliban are ready for some accommodation. It is clear that Neocon imperialism has failed but Afghanistan does not deserve to be left to the sort of condition the previous Taliban regime had imposed on it. There is still a possibility that outfits such as Al-Qaeda become active, encouraged by the Taliban victory. Afghan people deserve some peace and prosperity that has been elusive for at least four decades now. The way Afghan people, especially women and youth, are resisting the Taliban shows that the Taliban this time around may not find it as easy to impose their own brand of governance and social mores. The best option is to have a broad-based government that is very different to the system the Taliban had enforced in the 1990s.