Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Tuesday, October 26th, 2021

UN and Afghanistan’s International Allies Should Press the Taliban to Stop Violation of IHL

The wide engagement of the Taliban militants in civilian casualties has been highly disconcerting for the people of Afghanistan. The Taliban are killing Afghan soldiers and civilians alike without regard to the International Humanitarian Law (IHL). They occupy the houses of local people to fight against the government. But the United Nations simply play the role of a spectator.
The Taliban are not on the US terrorist list since the Trump administration and the Taliban leadership signed a peace agreement in Doha last year. The Doha peace accord gave legitimacy and international recognition to the Taliban group. Afghans were disappointed with the legitimacy of the group, which did not stop violence and bloodshed. In other words, the Taliban’s acts of violence did not change when they were even removed from the US terrorist list.
Afghans, including ordinary people, have taken arms to fight against the Taliban as the US troop pullout has been almost completed. Removing the group from the terrorist list has been a major concession to the Taliban. Notwithstanding the concessions given to them, the Taliban militants are still pushing with military action.
On a tweet, Afghan first vice president Amrullah Saleh said, “Afghanistan is under a full scale invasion of Talib terrorists who have an organized backing and sponsorship in Pakistan. It has to be tackled. Talibs use Doha office for deception. They have no intention to engage in meaningful negotiations.” It indicates that the Afghan government will treat the Taliban as “terrorists” as far as the group is fighting against the government. Saleh’s remarks also clarify the government’s stance towards the Taliban outfit. If it is a terrorist group, fighting will continue against it.
Witnessing the Taliban’s acts of violence and bloodshed, the ordinary people are supporting the government and will not accept the Taliban. That is, the people are ready to pay sacrifices, as they are fighting against the group in many districts, in support of the Afghan soldiers.
Meanwhile, it is believed that the Taliban leadership is not able to control its fighters. The Taliban fighters are shooting men, women and children, disregarding the human rights and the IHL. The statements that the Taliban have changed were proved abortive. Lately, President Ghani said that the Taliban have changed for the worse.
For our parts, Afghans have changed culturally, politically and demographically since the 1990s when the Taliban ruled the country. We have a highly educated, thriving young generation that never knew Taliban rule and they are not likely to accept dramatic rollbacks of the gains we have made in media, the arts, medicine, education and sports.
Earlier, President Ghani said that there is a consensus among credible international observers that the Taliban have not taken any steps to sever their tie with terrorist organizations.
He added, “We are prepared to face the Taliban and their supporters for as long as it takes until they realize that a political solution is the only way forward. We, therefore, call on the Taliban to engage with the government of Afghanistan to end the war and the destructive recent onslaught.”
The Taliban falsely claim that they will not seek monopolization of power and that they are prepared to hold negotiations, but in practically, they are engaged in killing people simply to monopolize power. The Taliban turn down the proposals for peace, be it by the state or the nation, and seeking the control of districts and provinces. If the Taliban do not intend to monopolize power, why they do not stop violence? Meanwhile, the Taliban play a foul game at the negotiating table. They seek to maintain their Doha office and say to the world that they are ready to negotiate, but they stalled the talks, making offensive attacks.
Afghanistan’s neighboring states, international allies and the United Nations have to press the Taliban not to spill the blood of Afghan civilians, mainly of women and children. They have to pressure the Taliban to have meaningful negotiations with the Kabul administration. If the Taliban continue their acts of terror, the United States as well as the UN should put the group on the terrorist list, cut their concessions and sanction their leaders.
Watching the record high fatality rate in Afghanistan, indicates that the countries once touted the human rights, no more believe in human rights and liberal values. After paying heavy sacrifices in support of their rights and democratic values, the people of Afghanistan do not deserve to be killed in cold blood. Those who gave legitimacy to the Taliban, have to delegitimize it and press it hard. The given concessions to the Taliban have simply emboldened them.