- Afghanistan A Talibn Rise That Gives Wings to Recruits of Terror
- Afghanistan Beatings and whipping: protests continue despite Taliban ban
About 200 people, including Americans, were evacuated from Kabul airport on Thursday on the first flight with foreigners to take off from the Afghan capital after the last US troops left the country in late August.
AFP saw the Qatar Airways flight take off this Thursday afternoon to Doha (Qatar), the first since August 30 ended the catica evacuacin of more than 120,000 people.
This flight takes place as the Taliban try to consolidate their regime, less than a month after they took control of Kabul.
Images broadcast by Qatar Al Jazeera television showed several families waiting with suitcases at the Kabul airport. “We are very grateful to Qatar,” said one of the passengers, saying he had a Canadian passport.
Doha, and its Turkish ally, have worked for days to fix the airport structures, which were badly damaged.
“This is a historic day for Kabul airport,” Qatari envoy in Afghanistan Mutlaq al-Qahtani said on Thursday, adding that international flights will resume “progressively”.
Outside the airport, many more armed Talibn fighters were seen on the streets of Kabul than in previous days – including special forces with military equipment – on street corners and at traffic control posts on large avenues.
Torture and prohibited protests
Many of the Afghans evacuated in those days of August fled after the return of the fundamentalists for fear of retaliation if they had worked with foreign agencies in the last two decades.
Although the Talibn do not stop reiterating that they have changed and are no longer that repressive regime, especially with women, who ruled between 1996 and 2001, their first weeks in power show that they will not tolerate any kind of opposition.
This Thursday, several protests in favor of freedom were canceled in the Afghan capital, after the new government prohibited such acts.
During the week, armed Taliban had dispersed concentrations of hundreds of people in various cities in the country, including Kabul, Faizabad (northeast) and Herat (east), where two people died by shots.
In addition, two journalists Afghans were beaten in police custody this week after covering a women’s protest in Kabul, where they were detained by the Talibn.
Zaki Daryabi, founder and head of the newspaper ‘Etilaat Roz’, shared images on social networks of two reporters, one with big red marks on the lower back and legs and the other with similar markings on the shoulder and arm. The faces of both men also featured hits, according to images verified by Reuters.
To put an end to the demonstrations, on Wednesday night, the government ordered that any demonstration had to be authorized by the Ministry of Justice. And that “for the moment”, none was.
An organizer of a protest in front of the Pakistani embassy – a country very close to the Taliban and accused of interference in internal affairs – told AFP that the demonstration had been canceled because of the ban by the authorities.
In another place where another rally was planned, there was no indication of the protest.
The Talibn announced their transitional government made up of ultra-conservative members, some of whom already ruled during the brutal fundamentalist regime of the 1990s. Several of the ministers are on the lists of UN sanctions and there is no woman in the cabinet.
The US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, warned the new Taliban government that it must “earn” its legitimacy before the international community, following the announcement of this cabinet that includes members wanted by Washington.
Although the Taliban had promised to include members of other groups in government, the reality is that the key positions announced are held by Taliban leaders: the Interior Ministry is run by Sirajuddin Haqqani, head of the dreaded Haqqani network (classified as a terrorist by the United States) and that of Defense by Mul Yaqub, son of Mul Omar, founder of the movement.
Mohammad Hasan Akhund, who was minister between 1996 and 2001, is at the head of the government.
The Taliban have also reinstated the dreaded Ministry of the Propagation of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, which during the previous regime ensured that the population respected its strict interpretation of Islamic law.
On Wednesday, former President Ashraf Ghani, whose flight on August 15 opened the gates of Kabul and power to the Taliban, I apologized to the Afghan people for not having known how to offer him a better future.
This new government faces the difficult task of relaunching the country’s moribund economy and dealing with the complex security issues, including the local branch of the Islamic State group, rival of the Taliban and behind bloody attacks.
Meanwhile, in the country other symbols of the imprint of the new rulers were being observed.
In images circulating on social media, it could be seen that the country’s main airport, formerly called Hamid Karzai International in honor of the first postal president, had been renamed Kabul International. And a holiday on Thursday in memory of the famous commander Ahmed Sh Masud, assassinated in 2001 by Al Qaeda, was also canceled.
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George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism