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US, EU should be careful about providing assistance to the Taliban

13 October 2021


The Taliban are seeking monetary support from across the world while preventing women from enjoying some basic rights. Responding to their appeal, the United States has reportedly agreed to provide humanitarian aid to Afghanistan while the European Union has announced a 1-billion-euro aid package. Though it was necessary to take time to judge the Taliban by seeing their actions, the US and EU have taken hurried steps apparently to please them. The assurance of the US and EU came at their first direct talks in Qatar on October 11. Not only that, the leaders of the G20 group of nations also held a virtual conference with the Taliban. Whatever may be the outer look of the Doha conference, it is no secret that the Taliban are desperately seeking international diplomatic recognition. If they fail to get recognition from the US lobby, they have another option in hand - that is Russia. An international conference on Afghanistan will be held in Moscow on October 20.
The US said the meeting with the Taliban does not mean that the US is going to recognise the Taliban government. But what's true is that after the granting of humanitarian aid by the US and EU, there will be no bar for international NGOs and aid agencies to provide necessary support to Afghanistan. It helps the Taliban to get some oxygen for surviving in domestic politics. We're not against delivering aid to Afghanistan when poor people are starving and most of them are staying under the open sky. But the Taliban should be compelled to obey some basic international norms while dealing with the Afghan people. This must be ensured in exchange for food and financial aid. If not, they could become more dangerous than before.
We observed from 1996 to 2001 the then Taliban rule was not a pleasant experience. At that time, the Taliban had banned television and musical instruments. The women in Kabul had the end of their thumbs cut off for wearing nail polish. The male had to face wrist or elbow cut for theft or similar offences. Women were subjected to death by stoning for adultery. So, the world doesn't want to see that scenario again. The US and EU should be more careful before assuring the Taliban of help to see whether the Taliban rulers are trying to take any advantage of the sympathetic approach. The Afghan people should not be left under the mercy of the cruel Taliban regime for an uncertain period. Don't give the Taliban the scope for blackmailing the world.

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