August 15, local time, an Afghan Taliban spokesman announced that Taliban militants had entered the country’s capital, Kabul. At present, Taliban representatives are discussing with the Afghan government a “peaceful transfer of power”. Afghanistan’s acting interior minister, Abdul Sattar Mirzakul, said the government would hand over power to a “transitional government.”
In response to the political upheaval in Afghanistan, the U.S. military said it would increase its military presence in Kabul over the next 48 hours, but that its mandate would be limited to “support personnel withdrawal” and “taking over air traffic control”, and U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged the Taliban and Afghan parties to exercise maximum restraint to ensure that humanitarian needs are met and that all abuses against women and children “must stop.”
“China looks forward to the Taliban’s statement to be implemented to ensure a smooth transition in the situation in Afghanistan, curb all kinds of terrorist and criminal acts, and enable the Afghan people to move away from the war and rebuild their beautiful homes,” a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said on August 16.
What is the situation in Afghanistan now? It is estimated that the island friends are very concerned these days. We contacted Zafari, who now lives in Kabul and works in the education and research industry, and asked him to tell us about the current situation in Kabul that he had observed. Here’s what he said.
My family and I are safe at the moment, but we are highly stressed. In recent times, Kabul has been prone to bomb attacks, embassy districts, education centers are not immune, ordinary people are worried. The Taliban went to search my house last night and we spent the night worrying that they would come into my house. Thankfully, they didn’t come in the end.
At present, my family’s supplies are sufficient, but for those who do not have basic living security, the situation is very difficult. The rent outside is so high that it is difficult to find accommodation. Large numbers of homeless people can only stay in mosques and parks, and those who are helpful can only provide them with a small amount of food to feed themselves.
Many believe that leaving Afghanistan is the only solution, but it is difficult. Most of the city’s foreign embassies have been closed, flights are scarce, many people rush to the airport with their luggage without a ticket, and Kabul airport is crowded with unidentified people, making it hard to imagine how long the airport will last.
I have some friends who plan to travel to Pakistan, Iran, Tajikistan and other countries to avoid. I do not have a passport now, the youngest daughter was born soon, the current efficiency of the relevant departments is extremely slow, temporarily nowhere to go.
In June, U.S. intelligence estimated that Kabul would not fall into the hands of the Taliban until six to 12 months after the withdrawal of U.S. troops; But in fact, although the Afghan government forces have long-term support from the U.S. military, but there are many deserters, some soldiers and police throw away their weapons, immediately turn back to “civilians.” In some places, government forces have defected before the Taliban launch an offensive. As far as I know, there are only a small number of areas farther away from Kabul where government forces are still holding on, after all, Afghanistan is a mountainous country that can use the terrain to defend, but for how long, no one can say for sure.
Media reports say the Taliban are committed to a “peaceful takeover of power”, but who knows if they will keep their promises? I am Hazara, who make up less than a third of Kabul’s population, and the Taliban are made up of Pashtuns, who make up a large Afghan population. Will they hurt the public and others? We’ll have to wait and see.
But I don’t think it’s true that Afghanistan will go back to the Taliban of the 1990s. After all, the Taliban’s political maturity has improved over the years and the way they govern should be different. This time the Taliban has promised to let women read and work, but there may be restrictions. For example, I’ve seen news that women are being asked to put on their “burqa robes” again, and that some ads with female images on the streets are being brushed off.
In our view, Afghanistan is certainly the best country to rule by its own people, but the regime must be stable. The former ruling party also has corruption, military disillusionment and so on, as for the Taliban’s comeback this time, I hope the international community can play a supervisory role. After all, after years of political turmoil and a new outbreak of coronary pneumonia since last year, the whole of Afghanistan is in disarray and can’t afford to toss. In the final analysis, Afghanistan’s national economy has not advanced for many years, and the population can no longer stand extreme rule.