After three months in power, the Taliban prime minister recently issued an audio statement. The statement came as Mullah Mohammad Hassan Akhund’s silence in recent days has been questioned. The Taliban prime minister addressed various issues, including the fall of the regime, the crisis of poverty and unemployment, the assassination of former soldiers, women’s rights, Taliban leadership, government finances, and their foreign policy.
In his statement, he blamed the former regime for the current problems in Afghanistan. According to Mullah Hassan Akhund, poverty has existed in the past, and linking it to the Taliban government is not fair. He added that the Taliban had not promised to provide for the people and that citizens needed to cry out to God to end the famine and drought. The prime minister of the Taliban-led government also said that in the previous government, unlike now, there was no opportunity for people to work.
According to Mullah Hassan Akhund, the assassination of former Taliban militants is not the Taliban’s deed. They only punish those who he says still commit crimes. Emphasizing the observance of women’s rights, he criticized the women’s situation in the previous government. Ashraf Ghani also controlled the financial institutions and managed all financial affairs from the citadel, the Taliban-led prime minister also said. According to him, the Taliban will then set up these institutions and sort things out. He also assured Afghanistan’s neighbors that the Taliban would not interfere in their affairs.
Mullah Hassan Akhund’s statement, which was more like a sermon, revealed many points about the Taliban’s attitude to the recent challenges. While in power, they are fleeing from their responsibilities, leaving the future of some 40 million citizens at the mercy of God. Instead of presenting a plan to resolve the humanitarian crisis, the Taliban-led prime minister says they have not promised to provide for the people. The basis of governance is to ensure the interests and protection of the rights of individuals in society. If no one is supposed to take responsibility and everyone is sitting in the hope of God, then what is the need for an organization under the name of government?
Given the Taliban prime minister’s remarks about providing jobs for citizens, the Taliban do not seem to know enough about the current generation. They still do not understand the needs of modern life and the will of the citizens. The Taliban see all job opportunities in the peasantry and mercenary work. Instead of providing job opportunities, they expect to give shovels and pickaxes to individual citizens and send them to the fields. If the educated generation today is viewed in this way, one cannot hope for the future of the country.
In response to recent assassinations of former government employees, the acting prime minister of the Taliban also said that they had considered a general amnesty. However, he stressed that soldiers affiliated with the previous government, who started committing crimes, will not be forgiven forever and will face their punishment. He thus unofficially confirmed the role of the Taliban in recent events. Unfortunately, the unbridled killing of people has no result other than the continuation of misery in Afghanistan. Such stances allow profiteers to eliminate their opponents in the previous government under various names. In situations where citizens need immunity, legitimizing such actions by the Taliban-led government could have dire consequences.
The Taliban emphasizes women’s rights while female students do not go to school or university right now. All women have lost their jobs, and only a handful have resumed their work due to the need for a Taliban-led government. In addition, the Taliban are emphasizing the regulation of administrations, while so far there have not been many cases of professional recruitment in the current government. The educated people of the country have not been employed yet and the work has not been entrusted to the workers. These negligences have left the current generation worried about their future and the hardships they have endured over the past two decades.
The release of foreign exchange reserves, which the Taliban-led prime minister called part of the current crisis, will solve the problem. Unfortunately, the Taliban have not yet understood the philosophy of foreign exchange reserves. They do not know that these reserves support the national currency and cannot be used in budget discussions and other matters. The only advantage this money can have for the Taliban in the current situation is that it prevents the dollar from rising against the Afghan currency. Otherwise, the use of those reserves for governance purposes, in addition to being unprincipled, can seriously challenge the country’s future economy.
It is clear from Mullah Hassan Akhund’s statement that the Taliban have used Ashraf Ghani’s government as a measure of the good and bad of themselves. They compare any current challenge to the Ghani era, saying that the Taliban have done at least better than the previous administration. To improve the situation of the people and the country, the Taliban must set an ideal government that the citizens want. This government must be such that the rights of the people, especially women, are guaranteed, the work is entrusted to the workers, the people feel safe, the country’s economy is on track, and the freedom of the media is respected. The world must be done as it should be. We cannot be optimistic about the future until these reforms take place. The Taliban must take responsibility before taking any action and not question the logic of governance.