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Seeing a 6-year-old girl evacuated from Afghanistan by the Indian Air force left me to think about the situation in Afghanistan. Women in Afghanistan are for sure not safe under Taliban rule. Citizens said the Taliban will remain the Taliban, and they have not changed.
Women fear that they will have to face the same circumstances that occurred 20 years back in the 1990s. During the 90's when Taliban first gained control in Afghanistan, women were not allowed to access education and total freedom. Now After 20 years again, the Taliban control has led to a panic situation among the second gender of the society. As per the news reports, Taliban has already shut down some of the girl's schools and women's clinics in various districts.
According to a report in news, lot of women confirmed that they were asked to be accompanied by a male guardian at local markets or while going out of their houses. Few of them couldn't go out because they didn't have any male relatives nearby.
During the 1990s under Taliban rule they had to be covered from head to foot with a burqa besides being veiled, women had to be accompanied by a male relative when they venture out in the streets. Shopkeepers had been directed not to sell goods to uncovered women.
Rickshaw drivers are not to pick up women passengers unless they are fully covered. Women caught violating these rules are imprisoned, as are the shopkeeper and the rickshaw driver. Those rescued clearly see a 'dark' future and refuse to go back to their country.
Since the past 20 years they had a lot of progress but now in just a span of time all of it changed. They fear that the upcoming generations will never get the opportunities to prosper their future. Though at an interview the spokesman said, "We assure that there will be no violence against women." but women refused to accept it and said they can't be trusted.
The ultimate fear is of imposing the sharia law under Islam. This will lead to the end of 20 years of freedom and equality they attained. As a woman who didn't want to be identified said, "Taliban means suppression of women. Taliban means degradation of a woman's personality, position and role in society. Taliban means no education, no work for women other than housework and giving birth. Taliban means deprivation of women from enjoying all kinds of life happiness."
They never thought they would have to experience something like this again after 20 years. All these incidents and the Taliban's approach towards women shows a depressing future for them.
Keywords: Afghanistan, Kabul, women in afghanistan, Taliban, Sunni, Islam
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" WHO IS MISTER PUTIN ? ", the German dailies blared, as they tried to uncover the profile of a common spy who committed acted belligerent. It was the 25th of February 1994, Vladimir Putin then the deputy mayor of St. Petersburg was an attendee at a European Union event in Hamburg. The event was of the utmost importance as it included a speech by then Estonian President Lennart Meri. It was hosted in Hamburg at the Matthiae-Mahl banquet, which is being celebrated since 1356. Hundreds of prominent guests from political, business, and cultural spheres met in the historic city hall to dine and have very high-ranking small talk.
On that ebullient day, the chief guest, Lennart Meri gave a thought-provoking speech. Referring to a paper from the foreign ministry in Moscow he said, "It notes that the problem of ethnic Russian groups in countries neighbouring Russia cannot be solved by diplomatic means alone." Other means were conceivable for Moscow, Meri concluded. He warned against Russia's "neo-imperialist policy" and appealed to integrate Eastern European countries, including Ukraine, into the "democratic world."
Royal Walk near Red Square. Photo by Aurelien Romain on Unsplash.
The meeting was being held at The Knights Hall, which has a grand ten-meter high ceiling and parquet flooring. At a particular instance in his speech, Meri referred to the Soviet Union as "occupiers". At this point, Vladimir Putin who sitting along with the Soviet delegation and other dignitaries, couldn't take it anymore. Putin stood up, gave a contemptuous glance to the speaker and straddled out of the hall with his footsteps reverberating in the background. To top it all off, he slammed shut the huge wrought iron doors with a deafening thunder.
This belligerent behaviour of Vladimir Putin created a buzz among the diplomats present there. According to a correspondent from the German magazine Zeit, "His exit was followed by whispers, "Who is he? What's his problem?". "It looked very impressive," recalled a St. Petersburg colleague who would later go on to run the Russian federal election commission under President Putin. " Who is Mister Putin? " This question haunted the other attendees for days to come.
The V.I. Lenin Library of the USSR, which was later renamed the Russian State Library in 1992. This photo was taken just before the May Day celebrations in 1988. Photo by Steve Harvey on Unsplash.
Vladimir Putin has a great ardour for the Soviet Union. It is quoted that Putin once famously said, " Anyone who doesn't regret the passing of the Soviet Union has no heart. Anyone who wants it restored has no brains. " Putin is smart enough to understand that restoring the former Soviet Union is an unviable option. Instead, building a stronger, reliant Russia is feasible. Putin despises the preaching attitude of the west and wants the west to respect the national interests of Russia.
Vladimir Putin perceives the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan as an opportunity to expand Russia's sphere of influence. Since Russia had a successful campaign in Syria against the anti-Assad forces, the Afghan mujahideen are wary of Russia's military prowess. Taliban too has softened its stance towards Russia and is open to working mutually. It is at this nadir when there is a vacuum of power in Afghanistan, Russia under Putin will seek to install a pro-Russian government in Kabul.
keywords: Vladimir Putin, Afghanistan, Soviet, Russia
By Tharini Ilanchezhian
Most minorities have fled Afghanistan due to the tension caused in the state following the Taliban takeover of the government and the Presidential Palace, and a very few chose to stay expecting the worst coming their way. One of them is the Hindu priest of Rattan Nath temple of Kabul, Rajesh Kumar.
With riots and chaos unfolding in the state, terrified of what will happen during the Taliban regime, disheartening videos of the Afghans trying to run for their life has been virally watched by the whole world.
Various Hindu associates have offered to make arrangements for Pandit Kumar to get out from Afghanistan. But the priest who wants to stick with the temple that has been served by his family for generations does not want to leave and says that he will be loyal to his duty. The priest has expressed his desire for ringing the prayer bells as long as possible.
Despite the immense risk coming its way, the priest refused to flee the place leaving behind the temple which has an ancestral importance and duty to be fulfilled.
A twitter user revealed what Pandit Kumar has to say to the help offers he was receiving from various people. He said that some Hindus have urged him to leave the capital city and have made arrangements for his travel and accommodation. But remembering the fact that the temple has been served by his ancestors for hundreds of years, he refused to abandon it. He also said that if the Taliban kills him, he considers it his 'Seva'.
Pakistan's Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed said on Tuesday that the country has taken the Afghan Taliban on board over the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) issue, hoping that the Afghan soil will not be used against Islamabad. Rasheed was responding on Geo Pakistan to reports of the release of key TTP commanders from jails in Afghanistan, as the Taliban took over the country.
Maulana Faqir Mohammad, the former deputy chief of the TTP, was also released as the Taliban after Kabul's fall on Sunday.
"The outlawed TTP and Daesh (Islamic State) militants are present in the mountainous ranges of Nooristan and Nighar," he said. "We have taken the Taliban on-board over the TTP issue and told them that Pakistan will not allow its soil to be used against Afghanistan and it hopes Afghanistan won't allow its soil to be used against Pakistan."
When pressed further, the Minister said he could not disclose to the media what Pakistan has discussed with the Taliban. "Previously, Pakistan was supporting the US due to which the TTP and the Taliban were on the same page. That is not the case now," he noted. In response to another question, the Interior Minister said Pakistan was not facing any refugee crisis or "load" on its border with Afghanistan, given the volatile situation in Afghanistan.
"Pakistan has completed 97-98 per cent of the fencing around the Afghan border," said Rasheed, adding that the border has been fenced even around the most hostile of terrains. "Our troops are manning the security check-posts along the border as well." The Minister said that in the past, most of the migrants who slipped through the border to Pakistan were the Taliban or others who were frustrated with the Northern Alliance. He said that is not the case now.(IANS/HS)