A month after seizing Kabul, the Taliban face daunting problems as they seek to convert their lightning military victory into a durable peacetime government.
After four decades of war and the deaths of tens of thousands of people, security has largely improved, but Afghanistan’s economy is in ruins despite hundreds of billions of dollars in development spending over the past 20 years. While much attention in the West has focused on whether the new Taliban government will keep its promises to protect women’s rights or offer shelter to militant groups like al Qaeda, for many Afghans the main priority is simple survival.
Here are some of the key stories to follow:
UN says rural Afghans have critical need for aid
UN official says 4 million Afghans are facing “a food emergency,” with the majority in rural areas where there is a critical need for funding for planting winter wheat, feed for livestock and cash assistance for vulnerable families, elderly and disabled.
In Kabul, first aid flights have started to arrive as the airport reopens and international donors have pledged over $1 billion to prevent what United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned could be “the collapse of an entire country.”
Pakistan’s role in enabling Taliban is victory for hardliners, says top US senator
The role of Pakistan in enabling the Taliban is a victory for the hardliners in the country’s government, Republican Senator Marco Rubio said during a Congressional hearing on Afghanistan on Thursday.
Rubio said multiple US administrations were guilty of ignoring Pakistan’s role in helping the Taliban to regroup, as other US senators expressed concern over the “double dealing” of Islamabad.
Ever since the Taliban took over Afghanistan, the plight of women in the country has been the focus of discussion across the world. During its previous government (1996-2001), the Taliban had banned girls from schools and educational institutes.
Earlier this week, the group’s newly formed all-male interim government allowed female students to attend private universities but with harsh restrictions. Several private universities resumed classes in the country as photographs of students sitting in classrooms partitioned with curtains made rounds on social media, shortly after the Taliban’s announcement.