Afghanistan dispatches: ‘The void the United States leaves behind in Afghanistan is being filled with every sort of terrorist there is’
ErikaWittlieb / Pixabay
Afghanistan dispatches: ‘The void the United States leaves behind in Afghanistan is being filled with every sort of terrorist there is’

JURIST EXCLUSIVE – Law students in Afghanistan are filing reports with JURIST on the situation there after the fall of Kabul to the Taliban. 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.

Today, 31 August 2021, marks the end of America’s longest war. As the last US airplane flew away from the Kabul airport early this morning AFT, the Taliban played the only music they know: Kabul woke up to the sound of tens of thousands of bullets being shot at the sky from rifles to machine guns of every sort, all thanks to the US administration’s gift to them.

The sounds were soothing and the city’s sky was as beautiful as one could possibly imagine, at least for some. I don’t understand why my little brother was shivering and my mother terrified. For some people a war ended, for us the common folk another was commenced. But the first of many battles to come is the fight for survival.

Thousands of celebratory shots have been fired, yet tomorrow the sun still rises. The government administration still does not exist, employees are still not paid, banks still cannot bear more than USD 200 a week for their clients, hundreds of thousands are still unemployed and millions will go to sleep hungry tomorrow night, right at this very hour.

In a brilliant attempt to solve the nation’s financial and political problems, the Taliban have declared that in universities boys and girls are to be taught in different classes.  Some genius among them decided that not a single university could double up its classes and teachers overnight, let alone turn half of them into females to teach the female classes, so they determined that classes should be separated by a wall of some sort – maybe a veil? – right in the middle of the class. Also in Kandahar the Taliban declared that music is banned and a woman’s voice should not be heard by anyone other than their Maharem (i.e. husband, father, brother ….). It makes one wonder if time travel is actually possible, since we have come back 20 years overnight.

Rahmatullah Nabil—former Afghanistan presidential candidate and someone who served as National Directorate of Security in 2012—recently posted that groups of ISI (Pakistan Intelligence)  people have entered sensitive offices of the Afghan government in search of confidential documents and data. I don’t know, but if this is not an act of aggression what is? Seemingly, the United Nations has forgotten their own charter.

On the other hand, the people of Afghanistan are left with the misery of waiting to see what will happen next.  ISIS Is deepening its roots in the country and there are plenty of rumors saying that Iran’s Fatemiyoun (Shia militia recruited from Iranian Afghans) have been seen crossing the borders of Afghanistan. The US fight against ISIS is meanwhile absolute success, right? The US drone attack on ISIS members in reality hit a civilian household killing 9 people, 6 of whom were children, the youngest of whom was two years old. The void the United States leaves behind in Afghanistan is being filled with every sort of terrorist there is; I wonder is someone actually thought “let’s fight terrorists with terrorists”? What could go possibly go wrong?

The Iran-China oil agreement, Chinese interests in rare minerals in Afghanistan, Pakistan’s proxy army now in control of the country and many more dynamic factors are making the people of Afghanistan believe that vaunted democracy, voting, elections, human rights, liberty and freedom of speech are all immensely ridiculous, at least where complex politics and trillions of dollars are in play.

Frankly, staying hopeful about Afghanistan’s future – under a regime where you could get shot right in the middle of the street and no one would ask a question, where the whole country is rushing towards bankruptcy with full speed and all our new rulers can think about are ways to stop people of different sexes seeing each other – is harder than you can imagine.