Taliban Celebrates ‘Victory Day’ As Fear, Uncertainty and Economic Crisis Grip Afghanistan

The Taliban group has called the first day of their arrival in Kabul “Victory” and declared it a public holiday. The group captured Kabul without a fight on August 15 last year after the escape of former president, Mohammad Ashraf Ghani.

The Taliban calls August 15 the day of victory and celebrated the first anniversary of its victory on August 15. During the course of one year of rule in Afghanistan, the group has been investing every possible resource to oppose the people and fight against any value that is a practical and acceptable norm in today’s human society. In the very first days of the entrance to Kabul, the Taliban closed all the education doors to girls and issued several decrees that are neither applicable nor have any religious support and base, but Taliban, using the religious argument have made a hell out of the country both men and women.

Taliban and some supporters of the group inside and outside the country consider August 15 as the day of victory and celebrate it, but majority of the population consider this day a black day in the history and view it as the victory of weapon over pen, victory of darkness over light, victory of terror over peace and victory  of illiteracy over education.

A large number of citizens, especially women, describe the events of August 15, 2021, as a “black day” in the history of the country. These citizens believe that with the domination of the Taliban over Afghanistan, all the achievements of the past two decades have been destroyed and Afghanistan has once again entered into the vicious cycle of “the bitter experience of blackness and destruction”.

Mullah Hasan Akhund, the head of the Taliban, named August 15 as the “Day of the Conquest of Kabul” and congratulated his fighters and the so-called “Mujahid nation” on this day. Zabihullah Mujahid, the spokesman of the Taliban, twitted the special message of the group’s prime minister, saying that the fighters and commanders of the group should exercise more caution and cooperate with the people, calling on the world to strengthen relations with the Taliban. Simultaneously, a number of members of the Taliban leadership gathered yesterday (24th of Asad/August 15th) in the hall of National Television, which is now under the Taliban control, and spoke about the establishment of an “Islamic” rule.

Abdulsalam Hanafi, the administrative deputy of the Taliban prime minister, said that with their domination over the country is a victory against the foreigners invasion and they have removed “the rule of foreigners”.  In his speech, he added that the government of Mohammad Ashraf Ghani was at the top of the list in administrative corruption and drug export in the world, and with their arrival, these two phenomena have been wiped out. This senior Taliban official spoke of “full provision of citizen’s rights”, while the members of this group severely suppressed the gathering of protesting women in Kabul three days ago and did not allow them stage a peaceful demonstration on the roads of Kabul.

Mr. Hanafi continued to assure the security of the country, while the National Resistance Front (NRF), during the victory ceremony celebration by the Taliban in Kabul,, claimed to have captured more than seven villages in Panjshir province and sieged about 40 Taliban fighters. Salam Hanafi also reminded about the provision of justice in the country’s courts and said that all the accused can have a lawyer. According to him, the Taliban have forgiven all those who fought them, except those who behave against Islamic principles and laws. The deputy prime minister of the Taliban called the preparation of the budget from internal sources as one of the group’s one-year achievements and added that the group has set aside 13.5 billion Afghanis for the families of war victims in one year. In this speech, he charged and blamed the foreigners and failed Kabul administration as main causes behind the country’s current sufferings.

Amir Khan Mutaqi, Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Taliban, said that the current government is inclusive and the world should interact positively with the Taliban. Mohammad Yaqoob Mujahid, Acting Minister of Defense of the Taliban, also called the rule of this group to ensure “true Islamic sovereignty” and pointed out that not even a single part of Afghanistan’s territory is out of their control.

This is while, women’s rights activists, political figures and citizens of the country express their dissatisfaction with the occupation of the country by the Taliban. They named August 15th as a “Black Day”. Wida Saghari, a women’s rights activist, says: “Commemoration of a black day and a horrible incident of the rule of a terrorist group is nothing new.” According to her, the terror that the Taliban launched today in the name of commemorating the day of their sovereignty over Afghanistan, several generations and many times in history have witnessed such a bitter and painful day. Mrs. Saghari adds that this day is a reminder of the rule of the first round of this group, when the city was in total bloodshed by the cut hands of citizens who were retaliated for “bread, work and freedom”. In her opinion, this situation is boring, sad and painful.

This women’s rights activist believes that no family in Afghanistan may be happy today. She states: “We are witnessing such a dark and bitter era in our history when the countries of India and Pakistan celebrate their independence and freedom at the same time. Afghanistan has once again fallen into the control of a terrorist group who are weapon producers, drug traffickers, and human body organ mafia.”

Also, Marzia Ahmadi, a women’s rights activist, describes the past year as a “nightmare” and endless sadness for the people of Afghanistan and says that this day is the day of “displacement and silence” of the people. According to this women’s rights activist, women understand and feel the suffering of the Taliban’s one-year rule over Afghanistan more than anyone else in the country. According to her, women have suffered more and more deprivation with the restrictions imposed by this group and women have been paying the price of regime change and Kabul administration failure with being pushed back behind the walls.

Heshmatullah Radfar, a former journalist and advisor to the High Council of Reconciliation, in a conversation with Hasht-e Subh, says that the first interpretation of celebrating August 15th is that “fascism and terrorism” joined hands and destroyed the structures that reflected the diversity of the Afghan society. Mr. Radfar adds that another interpretation of August 15th is that the international community, after twenty years of presence and paying heavy military, economic and political costs, came to the conclusion that this geography is the geography of tribal traditions and religious values, and transforming the Afghan society to a modern human oriented society aligned with today’s modern values is impossible.

The adviser of the former Supreme Council of Reconciliation emphasizes that corruption had taken over the government and the system during the republican period to that extend that no one from outside wanted to enter into a deal with Ghani’s administration.. According to Mr. Radfar, those inside the system were taking ransom from international projects which had created a serious matter of disappointment for the donor community. According to Mr. Radfar, these factors caused Afghanistan to fall into to the control of a terrorist group and part of the aspirations that had been cultivated for Afghanistan were destroyed long time before the total failure of Kabul administration.

However, the Taliban celebrated August 15th under the title of Kabul Victory Day, when the National Resistance Front announced the capture of 40 Taliban fighters in Panjshir.

At the same time as the Taliban celebrated August 15th, an explosion occurred on Dar al-Aman road in Kabul city, which caused casualties, but the Taliban did not allow journalists to cover the event. The fighters of this group tortured Ariana News reporter Sabur Raoufi who was trying to film the scene of the incident and report it.

Reactions of Domestic Institutions to August 15th

In one year of Taliban’s rule over the country, the permanent representative of Afghanistan in the United Nations called this day, the day of “usurpation of power and occupation” by the Taliban. This representative has said by publishing a declaration that the country faced various crises in the past year.

The representative of Afghanistan in the United Nations has stated that the Taliban have deprived the citizens of the country from basic services and the citizens of the country have faced severe violations of human rights, poverty, repression and tortures (mental and physical). According to him, the Taliban are failing to fulfill their commitments and have placed the strict measures of their previous rule in the foreground. He added that the Taliban have insisted on the continuation of the “monopoly and oppressive government” against the will of the people, and the international community which is driving the country to wrong and dangerous direction.

Reactions of Foreign Organizations and Countries

The United Nations Women’s Executive Management has published a statement saying that the Taliban have removed women’s right to political participation and exposed them to various types of gender violence. Sima Bahous, the deputy secretary general of the United Nations and the executive director of women, stated that in the past year, Afghan women have faced increasing disrespect for the right to live freely and equally as men. This organization has added that the Taliban’s unequal policies toward women have isolated Afghanistan. According to this organization, Afghanistan is the only country in the world where girls are prevented from going to school.

Afghanistan is only the country whose rulers have taken their mothers’ and sisters’ education in hostage to seek ransom and beg for support from the western countries whom the extremist rulers claim to have defeated and celebrate victory over them.

However, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has also said that the rule of the Taliban casts a shadow “like a dark cloud over Afghanistan”. She said that the life of women and girls under the rule of the Taliban is like “life in prison”. The German Foreign Minister added that many Afghan people “do not have enough for their daily food, they live in fear of persecution and harassment every day, and their basic rights are denied.”

Rina Amiri, the US special representative for women and human rights in Afghanistan, has considered the creation of an “inclusive government” as the only option for the world to support Afghanistan. She has described the current time as “painful” for the citizens of the country, especially for women and ethnic and religious minorities.

At the same time, Human Rights Watch has said that the world has violated its obligations in regard to Afghan women in one year, since the fall of Afghanistan to the hands of the Taliban. Heather Barr, deputy director of the women’s rights department of this organization, tweeted: “We owe Afghan women an apology. Because our governments promised to always stand by them and then they broke this promise.” She has further said that the United Nations Security Council should impose a travel ban and other sanctions on Taliban officials who are involved in human rights violations.

At the same time, the Wall Street Journal reported that after the death of Ayman al-Zawahiri in Kabul, the administration of Joe Biden, the President of the United States of America, decided not to release seven billion dollars of Afghanistan’s foreign exchange reserves for the time being and to stop talks with the Taliban in this regard.

In the very first day of the entrance to Kabul, Taliban took the girls education and women’s rights in hostage by closing the education doors to girls and removing women from the public domain. Crises like, human rights violations, poverty, torture, killing, private sector collapse, women imprisonment and revenge killings have been the key headlines and talk show topic during the cause one last year about Afghanistan under the rule of the terrorist group by the name of Taliban. Currently, there is no law enforcement institution in the country. A year has passed, but no nation has shown interest to directly interact with the Taliban. Even the very close supporters and lobbyists of the Taliban have not recognized the group as the legitimate rulers and have always emphasized on formation of the an inclusive government that is people oriented and formed by the direct public votes.

[highlight color=”gray”]Amin Kawa, Hasht-e Subh Persian[/highlight]