Home World News Taliban ask the West to ignore harsh decrees imposed on Afghan women

Taliban ask the West to ignore harsh decrees imposed on Afghan women

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Taliban ask the West to ignore harsh decrees imposed on Afghan women

Taliban representative at UN-sponsored meeting did not mention the harsh decrees against women and girls that have sparked global outrage

Qatar

On the last day of June 2024, representatives of the Taliban called on the West to ignore the measures they have imposed on Afghan women and girls, for the sake of improving international relations, Asiaplus.tj reports.

Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid, on the opening day of the UN-sponsored meeting in Qatar, stated that the Taliban supports certain religious and cultural values and public aspirations that “need to be recognized to promote relationships, not to face disputes,” according to Apnews.

The two-day meeting in Qatar began on June 30 and aims to enhance engagement with Afghanistan and provide a more coordinated response to the country’s challenges.

Read: Mass floggings of Men and Women in Afghanistan Continues

Mujahid also stated that political understanding between the Taliban and other countries is steadily improving. In particular, he noted that Kazakhstan has removed the Taliban from its list of banned groups, and Russia will take similar measures in the near future.

“I do not deny that some countries may have problems with the measures of the Islamic Emirate,” said Mujahid. “I believe that political differences between states are natural, and it is the duty of experienced diplomats to find ways of interaction and understanding, not confrontation.”

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Meeting of Zabihullah Mujahid with the envoy of the President of Uzbekistan in Afghanistan Ismatulla Irgashev in Doha – Photo from apnews.com

According to him, “such disagreements should not escalate to the point where powerful countries use their leverage to exert pressure in the areas of security, politics, and economy.”

However, he did not mention the harsh decrees against women and girls that have sparked global outrage.

Previously, Mujahid called the criticism of the treatment of Afghan women and girls “interference in internal affairs.”

This is already the third round of negotiations in Doha in this format – the previous ones were held in May 2023 and February 2024. Unlike them, representatives of the Taliban are now participating in the meeting. They were not invited to the 2023 conference, and in February 2024, they refused to participate themselves, first demanding that Afghan human rights defenders who criticized them not be present at the meeting and that they meet with UN Secretary-General António Guterres, which the organizers did not agree to.

To exclude women

The Taliban confirmed their participation in the current consultations in mid-June. Zabihullah Mujahid stated that after reviewing the agenda, the country’s leadership decided that the meeting was in the country’s interest.

The Taliban also demanded that no Afghan women be allowed to attend this meeting. The UN confirmed that there would be no women at the meeting in Doha except for UN representatives.

This decision drew criticism from human rights groups, the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Afghanistan, Richard Bennett, and Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai.

Yousafzai wrote on the social network X that she was “alarmed and disappointed” that the Taliban were invited to meet with UN special envoys while Afghan women and human rights defenders were excluded from the main conversation.

Holding the meeting without the participation of Afghan women sent a “completely wrong” signal that the world was ready to meet the Taliban’s demands, she noted.

She added that the Taliban’s actions in Afghanistan are tantamount to gender apartheid.

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As part of the meeting in Doha, Mujahid also met with the representative of the Russian President in Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov – Photo from apnews.com

No country officially recognizes the Taliban, and the UN has stated that recognition remains practically impossible as long as bans on women’s education and employment persist. Human Rights Watch (HRW) stated that by holding the meeting on the Taliban’s terms, the UN had reached a “new low.”

“Those most affected by the Taliban’s abuses are being sidelined and excluded from discussions about their fate at the UN,” the statement said.

Read: Afghan Taliban publicly flog 274 men, 58 women and two boys in 6 months

As part of the meeting in Doha, Mujahid also met with the Russian president’s representative in Afghanistan, Zamir Kabulov. Photo from apnews.com It is noted that this decision contradicts UN Security Council Resolution 1325, adopted in 2000, which guarantees women’s participation in key international discussions.

“If Doha-3 proceeds as planned, the UN will create a harmful precedent by betraying Afghan women’s struggle for their rights. By abandoning its obligations to protect human rights in a disgraceful attempt to appease the Taliban, the UN will inflict eternal damage on its authority,” HRW concluded.

A meeting with human rights defenders will still take place

The UN disagreed with HRW’s criticism, responding that the special envoys would still meet with women’s rights groups.

On July 2 in Doha, special envoys (the organizers invited diplomats from 30 countries, most of whom confirmed their participation, including Russia and the US) will meet with representatives of Afghan civil society.

“In no way should any of the meetings between organization representatives and envoys be considered as official recognition of the Taliban as the government or legitimization of the Taliban,” the UN emphasized. “We need to meet with them to address Afghanistan’s problems. It is better for all special envoys on Afghanistan to be in one room, listen to the same thing, communicate with the de facto authorities, and convey the same messages so that everyone is on the same page.”

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Courtesy: Central Asian Light (Posted on July 1, 2024)

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