Afghanistan dispatches: a revolt against the Taliban?
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Afghanistan dispatches: a revolt against the Taliban?

JURIST EXCLUSIVE – Law students in Afghanistan are filing reports with JURIST on the situation there after the fall of Kabul to the Taliban on Sunday. Here, a law student in Kabul offers his latest observations and perspective. For privacy and security reasons we are withholding his name and institutional affiliation. The text has been only lightly edited to respect the author’s voice.

Four days Ago, Kabul fell and the Arbitrary State of Taliban was installed. Since then, the Taliban have made numerous promises of keeping the peace and security for the people’s civil rights and women’s right to work and have the opportunity to pursue education, while not mentioning how and what sort of education they will be allowed. But the Taliban have failed to keep their word even for a week. They have engaged in trafficking of armored vehicles and military equipment to Pakistan. There are also undeniable reports of incidents of mass graves being dug in the north, where the Taliban have done house to house searches and murder on the spot. However, these incidents did not provoke the public to stand up against the extremist regime, as the sources of these reports were somewhat informal and the official news channels are strictly monitored.

Today, however, when the Taliban took down the national flag it had an impact on the average citizen and protests sprang up in Jalal Abad city which were meet by shooting and killing of the protesters by the Taliban.

In the north is the last standing province of Afghanistan – Panjshir, the birth place of Afghanistan’s national hero Ahmad Shah Massoud, who fought against the Soviets and Taliban in the 1980s and 90s. He was assassinated by the Haqani terrorist organization, and following his death 9/11 happened. Now in those same valleys lives his son—Ahmad Massoud, his father’s namesake.

Massoud has assembled the Northern Alliance (NA) and has met with Amrullah Saleh the former vice president, now the caretaker president of Afghanistan. Saleh cited Article 60.4 of the Afghanistan Constitution and asserted his legal position as the caretaker president of Afghanistan. Mohammad Zaher Aghbar, Afghan ambassador to Tajikistan has supported Saleh, and in a symbolic act has replaced Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai’s picture and replaced it with Saleh’s picture. The embassy of Afghanistan in Tajikistan has also asked for Interpol arrest of the former president, as most people are advocating for it in social media in the last three days. Massoud is also joined by respected commanders of the army of Afghanistan, namely; Khalid Amiri Commander of the special forces, Monib Amiri Commander at the Commando forces, Hamid Saifi an army commander and many more.

The Taliban are deeply racist and have always been disrespectful to Uzbek, Tajik and Hazara’s social values and leaders. As for their recent acts, the have defaced every picture of the national hero they could find and bombed the Baba Mazari’s statue (a very respected deceased figure in Hazara) which may lead the Hazara Commander Alipor to join Massoud. On the brighter side Marshal Dostom’s son, Yar Mohmmad Dostom, may be on his way to join the NA in Panjshir.

All these late provocations and today’s disrespect towards the national flag have raised the idea of revolting against the Taliban very soon.

To answer the question of why the Afghan Army was obliterated so easily needs an in-depth article, but in short, it didn’t. Fully equipped brigades with more than 25 thousand personnel were ordered to surrender to lesser number of Taliban who would have lost a battle with iron man suits, although it remains an unanswered question as to why the president did what he did. One thing is obvious – the Taliban didn’t win the war in the battlefield but rather in Doha and behind a closed door.

I leave you with the story of an Afghan commando whose video went viral. While crying to his Commander for a reason as to why he should surrender his rifle, he begs to let him at least give them a fight even if it means his death. It takes me back to when Ahmad Massoud quoted his father’s words when he said “if there is still land equal to size of my Pakol (Hat) I will fight from there to free my country”.  Massoud then added that the north was the first and last line of defense not only for the freedom of Afghanistan but also to the security of the region and Europe, and asked for international support to fight against this extremist group.

Maybe soon it will be time to whisper in the ears of the Taliban, asking them Do you hear the people sing? singing a song of angry men? It’s the music of a people who will not be slaves again.