Correspondent in Jerusalem
New day of protests in an Afghanistan that lived its Independence Day under Taliban control. The mobilizations spread to the provinces of Nangarhar, Laghman, Kunar and Kabul, where there were sporadic marches of men and women who walked the streets with the tricolor flag of the previous government shouting “our flag, our identity.” Islamists cracked down on protesters in the provinces and in Asadabad, the capital of Kunar, “Several people died as a result of the shooting” by the new forces of order, according to the local media. In Kabul, Afghanistan’s main showcase to the world, they were more restrained, but also prevented protesters from raising the tricolor instead of the emirate’s flag. It is becoming increasingly difficult to really know what is happening in Afagnistan.
The Islamists celebrated this day that marks the end of the British occupation 102 years ago with a message in which they showed their joy at having expelled from the country “the most arrogant power in the world, the United States.” The extremist movement reaffirmed the importance of the establishment of the Islamic emirate of Afghanistan, but tens of thousands of Afghans showed no emotion and awaited evacuation.
Najiba Faiz It is on the list drawn up by Spain and remains in Kabul awaiting the long-awaited call from the embassy. “We know them well, we are not deceived with their false promises,” he assures when questioned about the declaration of respect for women and the amnesty offered by the Islamists. She was a teacher in Herat when the emirate prevailed in 1996, she had to quit her job and cover herself with a burqa. She was attacked twice in the streets of this western city by extremists and now she seems to be living “a nightmare, I was in Helmand when they arrived and we escaped to Kabul by bus. A 6 hour trip turned into a 16 hour trip and we had to get past their checkpoints. The problem was that three days later they took over the capital and since then I only think of fleeing.
‘The New York Times’ had access to a United Nations report that points to the existence of a black list drawn up by Islamists with the names of people they seek to interrogate and punish. The purge is already underway and the Taliban “go door to door to arrest or threaten family members with death if those people they are looking for do not turn themselves in,” the US newspaper reported.
Access to the airport
For Najiba, as for most Afghans, evacuation is an obstacle course. The last of them is the Taliban checkpoint at the gates of the airfield, where coordination between Islamists and Americans is necessary to allow access to the interior of people with permission to fly. Since Sunday at least twelve people have been shot dead or crushed in human avalanches in the access to an airport that has become the only safe way out of the country.
In the midst of this chaotic evacuation, President Joe Biden gave the green light for troops to remain in Kabul beyond August 31 if necessary, the date that was marked as the final day to close these two decades of war. Washington expressed its alarm at the reports of the local media that denounced that the Taliban “are preventing Afghans who want to leave the country from reaching the airport,” revealed the Undersecretary of State. Wendy Sherman. From the Pentagon, however, they indicated that the Taliban “are not interfering in our operations,” according to General Mark Milley, Chief of Staff.
At the massive press conference on Tuesday, Islamist spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid He promised that the new regime will be “positively different” from the one that prevailed between 1996 and 2001. Things have changed in the last two decades and it seems that the Taliban aspire to form an inclusive government with figures such as former President Hamid Karzai or Chief Negotiator Abdullah Abdullah to try to gain greater recognition in the international community. Contacts are ongoing, but no information on their progress has been leaked at the moment.
While the authorities de Russia or China do not rule out a rapprochement with the emirate, experts agree that these Taliban are not too different from those who terrified the world in the late 1990s. Russian analyst Kirill Krivosheev considers that “we are not going to see anything remotely similar to the ‘inclusive government’ that the Taliban promise, while we are going to attend the growth of religious extremism and the opium trade“According to his analysis for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace think tank.
The same opinion has the anti taliban activist Hassan Nasir who told this medium that «we are witnessing a propaganda exercise these days. They have not changed and nothing positive can be expected. They are repeating the steps of 1996, when they also promised amnesty and an inclusive government as soon as they came to power. They just try to buy time to deceive people and the international community».
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism