Since the withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan and the Taliban’s takeover of the country, there has been an international outcry for the freedom and protection of the rights of the Afghan people. The Taliban claimed general amnesty and ensured human rights will be provided. However, their actions do not match their words.
The short-lived democracy in Afghanistan in the past two decades has changed the attitudes of the Afghan people. Having experienced democracy, people are once again demanding freedom and rights, and have come onto the streets in protest. Even women who have long been oppressed have now emerged in protest. This demonstrates that the women are aware of their basic rights. There are reports of the people being denied higher education. However, in a latest announcement from a Taliban minister, universities will soon start functioning. Absence of higher education will drive the country backwards; they will not be able to utilise their human capital effectively. This will leave a political and technological vacuum in the country. Freedom and the right to modern education are crucial for economic prosperity and development.
To ensure social and political progress, the Taliban will need to implement a proper education system in Afghanistan. Otherwise, there will be a surge in extremism. The Taliban’s claims to ensure freedom depend on how they will provide access to education. To engage with the international community, the Taliban will be required to implement and introduce modern education and higher education in Afghanistan. Otherwise, they will struggle to gain international acceptance, which will result in global isolation for the country.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 14th, 2021.