Seven Months Later: A Look at Taliban Rule

Holsen Moore, Staff Writer

Afghanistan has mostly been out of the news since the chaotic U. S. withdrawal in August of last year, but recently has made headlines after the Islamic Emirate suddenly closed girls’ schools despite promises that the Taliban would allow women’s education. 

Western nations were skeptical of the Taliban’s assurance that it would allow women to be educated, especially since girls’ schools and universities had been closed for seven months following the withdrawal of the U. S.-led coalition. The Taliban has a history of gender discrimination, with women not allowed to be schooled from the late 90’s until the American invasion. 

Since the fall of the Taliban, the Afghan government modernized and made real progress. Education and the economy prospered, but the nation remained fraught with violence caused by the Taliban insurgency. 

Free from occupying forces, most of Afghanistan is experiencing its first peace in decades. War and terrorism no longer typify the landscape, and the rampant corruption that plagued the government of the former Islamic Republic has disappeared, leading to record profits at in-demand bureaucratic offices such as the passport department.

But safety comes at a cost. 

The flight of the occupation forces also meant the flight of monetary aid that the nation desperately needed. Afghanistan is facing an economic downturn as well as a famine, and the Taliban is seeking closer ties with their neighbor China to improve the situation. 

The Taliban, in spite of earlier promises, has also tortured and executed several individuals associated with the previous government and occupation. Taliban forces have killed more than 500 men and women according to the New York Times. 

However resistance to Taliban rule still remains, most notably in the Panjshir Valley. This region has been historically opposed to Taliban rule, although the new government does not view the guerrilla organizations in the area as a threat. 

For now, it looks like the Taliban is pushing Afghanistan back 20 years to authoritarian, fundamnetalist rule. Despite their insistence that the central Asian country would liberalize and adopt more modern values, the Taliban has reneged on these promises, and religious zeal, sexism, and brutality remain the order of the day.