The Taliban regime celebrated the departure of the last American plane from Afghanistan with gunfire. Shortly after the American troops left Kabul airport, the Taliban took control.
Members of the terrorist group armed with American rifles and uniforms of the defunct Afghan security forces guarded the airport in the morning where Taliban leaders gathered.
Although most of the equipment at the airport was destroyed, there was enough to pose as the victors by seizing the remnants of the enemy, starting with a huge C-130 aircraft, which the Taliban boarded for propaganda photos.
Perhaps one of the most heartbreaking images is that of the bloodhounds left to fend for themselves at the airport and who served alongside the troops, putting their noses to the grindstone and risking their skin along with their masters to prevent any explosives from detonating and causing a tragedy, as happened with the airport bombing. The faithful companions of the Americans were left locked in their transport cages.
More than 122,000 people were evacuated from Afghanistan by NATO forces, while millions are seeking to leave the country across the land border. On the border with Pakistan, hundreds of thousands of Afghans are crowding together to flee to their southern neighbor. On the border with Tajikistan, thousands of ex-soldiers take refuge, after fleeing for their lives following the collapse of Afghanistan’s security forces.
At the Kabul airport, one of the Taliban leaders, Zabihullah Mujahid proclaimed that “no Afghan will surrender to force and that the way the Americans left Afghanistan is a good lesson for future generations who were financially damaged, it is a lesson for everyone, it is a historic day without a doubt, it is a free country, it is a sovereign country, America was defeated, they could not achieve their objectives through military operations and with respect to my nation we want to have good relations with the rest of the world.”
The Taliban regime still lacks international recognition
Despite Mujahid’s statements, it is not clear that the rest of the world has confidence in Afghanistan. While it is true that Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with the Taliban’s co-founder and most prominent figure, Mulla Abdul Ghani Baradar, it is not clear that China wants to have relations with Afghanistan beyond what concerns security on its border with the Muslim country.
China’s main concern is the influence that the reformed Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan could have to destabilize the region and cause unrest or rebellions in regions such as Xinjiang where the predominantly Muslim Uighur population is oppressed by the Beijing government.
The situation is repeated with Pakistan, once an ally of the Taliban cause, which for years was a haven for Sunni radicals, is now a victim of its own making and suffers a profound security problem due to the emergence of an indigenous Taliban movement.
Since 2007, an organization called Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan has been operating within Pakistan’s borders, whose goal is to establish an Islamic Emirate in the country, a movement that openly cooperates with the Taliban in Afghanistan. Thus, Pakistan has ended up as a victim of the very monster it helped create in the 1990s.
Pakistan will also have to cope with the growing mass of refugees left by the Afghan conflict, since historically the southern neighbor has served as a refuge for millions of Afghans who fled the Soviet war, the subsequent civil war, which led to the first establishment of the Emirate, and today the second takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban.
For their part, the armies of Uzbekistan and Tajikistan carried out military maneuvers with the Russian army in view of the Taliban takeover of the country. Russia, in turn, is in a situation of appeasement where the Embassy itself recognizes the Taliban as the dominant power in the country.
As for the United States, although it managed to leave Afghanistan and evacuate all its embassy staff, it will continue to have contact with the Taliban regime through the establishment of an office in Qatar, where both parties will meet.
There are still 100 to 200 U.S. citizens in Afghanistan, according to estimates by Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, and one of the main US interests in the country is to remove those US citizens whose lives are in danger, as well as the thousands of Afghan contractors who worked with the U.S. government.
The Taliban regime began to renege on its promises since it took control
Although the Taliban offered an amnesty for former government officials and soldiers in Afghanistan’s security forces appearing more moderate to the international community, allegations that the Taliban remains the same old intolerant sect abound, with everything from women forced into hiding to soldiers being shot occurring every day in Afghanistan.
On camera, they claimed that women would enjoy rights under Taliban rule, yet the new education minister said that women would not be able to attend the same classes as men in universities, and they have already been banned from participating in radio and television programs.
Women are not the only victims of the Taliban’s lies, the amnesty for members of the armed forces also turned out to be a fallacy, as dozens and perhaps even hundreds of former members of the Afghan police and forces have been shot by the Taliban, who are leading a door-to-door purge searching for opposition fighters all over Afghanistan. Thousands have had to take refuge in the Panjshir Valley where there is still a pocket of resistance led by Ahmad Massoud and Amrullah Saleh, and thousands more have taken refuge in neighboring Tajikistan.
Religious and ethnic persecution has also returned, and thousands of Shia-converted Hazaras fear for their lives under the predominantly Pashtun and Sunni-converted Taliban regime.
Aware of being surrounded, the Panjshir resistance has engaged in talks with the Taliban, however, so far there has been no agreement reached between the two sides. On the other hand, the Taliban have held talks with public figures such as former President Hamid Karzai and former DOHA peace negotiator Abdullah Abdullah.
Although the Taliban have yet to consolidate their power over all of Afghanistan, they are undoubtedly the dominant force and the fact that the former leaders of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan recognize them will give them more legitimacy to impose the theocracy that uses Sharia as a code of justice.