The entire world is shocked after the rapid return of Taliban in Afghanistan. Western generals and politicians are also warning that the return of al-Qaeda to Afghanistan, in strength, is “inevitable”. On Monday, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called on the UN Security Council to “use all tools at its disposal to suppress the global terrorist threat in Afghanistan”. The last time the Taliban governed the whole country, from 1996-2001, they brutalised their own population, and provided safe sanctuary for Osama Bin Laden’s al-Qaeda organisation. Today the Taliban still see themselves as the rightful – if unelected – rulers of “the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan” and they will want some degree of international recognition.
On 12 August, as the Taliban were still advancing on the capital, the US charge d’affaires in Kabul tweeted: “The Taliban’s statements in Doha do not resemble their actions in Badakhshan, Ghazni, Helmand & Kandahar. Attempts to monopolise power through violence, fear and war will only lead to international isolation.” Fear is spreading in the country. The Taliban’s focus is on ruling Afghanistan according to their strict interpretation of Sharia, Islamic law. Videos shows hundreds of Afghans at Kabul airport attempting to escape, as the Taliban took over the capital. In an exclusive interview, Nobel peace laureate Malala Yousafzai has told media that countries need to open their borders to Afghan refugees.