Two decades ago – when the fire and smoke from the terrorist attacks in New York had not subsided – the Taliban, as supporters of the terrorists involved in event, angered the international community, especially the United States and its allies.
In a matter of days, a global coalition was formed to fight terrorism; and in the blink of an eye, the Taliban’s authority was dismantled in the wake of a large-scale military offensive. As a result of the Bonn negotiations, the new system came into live with the slogans ensuring peace, prosperity and living in a law abiding civil society.
Coinciding with the start of the United States and global coalition attacks against the Taliban bases, we witnessed large-scale marches in the streets of the civilized world, which condemned the Taliban act disregarding women’s rights, civil liberties, and the rights of religious minorities, including other persecutions against the nation. The protests spread wings from Paris to New York, from London to Tokyo, from Canberra to Cape Town and… in most cities around the world.
Images of girls dropping out of school, women flogged on the streets of Kabul and forced not to work outside the home premises, the distressing economic situation of the people, the ruined antiques of world heritage, and all the other anomalies caused by the Taliban every day were the topics being carried hand in hand during the demonstrations; and perhaps, only few would not shed tears or be disgusted seeing them.
In 2002 to 2012, every famous person from the world of politics to art, to economics and sports; When they wanted to show their breadth of support for the human world, they would end up seeing destructions of Kabul, Bamyan and Balkh – from Bush to Schroeder, from Kofi Annan to Manmohan Singh, from Prince Harry to Tony Blair and … and from Muhammad Ali Kelly to Angelina Jolie and other outstanding figures.
The obvious in all these visits and slogans was to support the forgotten Afghanistan in the wake of war and terror and supporting people of the country to meet their most basic needs and regain their forgotten place in the human family.
With the influx of global aid:
- In addition to creating thousands of private schools; the number of active public schools increased from about 3,000 during the Taliban era to more than 17,000.
- The number of universities increased from 6 to more than 100.
- The number of girls studying in schools and universities increased from zero to about 4 million.
- The presence of women in government offices increased from zero to 20 to 30 percent.
- Civil society institutions were formed.
- The constitution was formed responsive to the basic needs of the people.
- Instead of imposed and tyrannical governments, the people witnessed elections and an elected government.
- The imageless country of the Taliban period emerged as one of the most prominent advocates of freedom of expression in the region.
And dozens of other achievements; but there was further hope in other areas such as social, economic, cultural and political life.
Despite all the achievements and hopes obtained for not only living but to survive in this weary land, today we see in disbelief that President Trump – regardless of the fate and future of millions of women, children, old and young on this land – has set out to once again leave this helpless nation in Taliban hands, and unfortunately, no institution or country has a voice for why and how this decision is made, and not a single fair view can address this unpronounced mandate on poor civilians.
As if, once again, the conscience of the civilized world has fallen asleep and have forgotten their red line, which was not to allow Afghanistan to return to the past and not to forget this country again.
- We Afghans have the right to ask you; where are all your Human Rights slogans?
- Where are all those child protection slogans?
- Where are all those slogans in support of women?
- Where are all those slogans in support of women’s education and employment?
- Where are all those slogans in support of democracy and freedom of expression?
- Where are all those slogans in support of religious minorities?
- And where are those awakened consciences that blamed themselves for the situation in Afghanistan during the Taliban period?
Afghans want you to remember: If the future of Afghanistan is gambled by Mr. Trump and his associates in the peace talks without a real and lasting assurance; along with the people of Afghanistan, you will also be a loser in the field.
Do not forget that peace in the streets of Kabul, Kandahar and Helmand is tied to your peace on the streets of Canberra, New York, Paris and London.
You have the right to ask your governments what the result will be when they have spent billions of dollars of your tax money on peace and the preservation of human values in Afghanistan.
You have to break the chain and ask your governments for the future of your kind and ask them what will happen to Afghan children and women again.
And remember that the people of Afghanistan have the right to ask; is the collective conscience of the civilized world asleep?