Gul Rahman Faraz, who worked as a translator with Lithuanian troops in Afghanistan, was evacuated to Vilnius in late August. In an exclusive for LRT English, Faraz considers the future of his country under the new regime.
Those who rule in the Taliban government may bring minor changes to their actions and dressing in comparison to their previous dark governing regime, but it does not mean and cannot be expected that they will respect administrative rules or honour management pillars.
They may exchange their whips for police batons, but the level of cruelty will inevitably increase.
This is what the Taliban will bring to Afghanistan.
Afghan National Security Forces
The first stage of the Taliban’s government is to ignore the achievements gained in the past 20 years, including all international and Afghan efforts to establish the national army (ANA).
The fears of collapsing the pillars of governing feed from such cases. The professional elements of the ANA would be killed, persecuted, tortured or jailed. All heavy and light weapons may end up being transferred to the enemies of Afghanistan. In that case, flashpoints for inner conflicts would surface all over the country.
The Taliban compromised politically with Russia, China, USA, Iran and Pakistan before taking control of Afghanistan, but they were not able to match their activities on the level to be accepted by any of the counterparts.
Ultimately, the Taliban will implement the goals of their partner countries in Afghanistan.
Although the Taliban declared amnesty when they occupied provincial capitals, there were still instances of terror and killings. This makes people suspicious of their promises. If such confidence is not ensured, there won't be any time to compensate. If so, we will have a government with no nation.
Power monopolisation and solo tribal ruling is the approach of the Taliban, despite the group being a false majority.
In the current period of the Taliban, the government is dominated by a specific tribe named Pashtoon. It would be better for the Taliban to seek tribal partnerships and share ruling power among all tribes in Afghanistan. That is the only way to reach the consent of all parties to obey the Taliban.
Migration and brain drain
Social approach provides opportunities for high-ranking members of the Islamic Emirate to familiarise themselves with the societal base of Afghanistan in the 21st century, which includes the sought-after goals of democracy, elections, human rights, women rights, social justice, good governance, cultural and civic activities, freedom of speech and access to education.
It is challenging to govern without paying attention to these goals. Furthermore, people will not obey the command of lash.
Youth emigration reminds of the cruelty of the previous, dark Taliban regime of the 1990s. Now, young Afghans seeking shelter by clinging to the wings of US aircraft is a tragic conclusion to the withdrawal of American forces.
A war-based country is mostly controlled by the disasters of economic poverty and migration. Most are looking to feed their families by selling goods on the streets. A large number of governmental low-ranking servants matched their salary through such means. Poverty under the Taliban will likely increase.
The Taliban’s governance is ruled by ignorance. Its high-ranking officials have come to rule with educational backgrounds from Pakistan mosques and religious madrasas. Most are Mullahs and students of religious colleges.
They are supposed to manage and lead Afghanistan in the same track, despite their lack of experience, professions, management and leadership skills, and censoring of the media.
Opium cultivation, production and smuggling were the biggest sources of Taliban income in the past years. Afghanistan’s entrenchment as a centre of poppy production would be another disaster that harms its long term future.
Limited access to education
Lack of an organised governing infrastructure and payment ambiguity for teachers and staff will eradicate commitment and transparency.
Obscurity of human and women rights
People are not exercising their basic rights and privileges under the control of the Taliban. They are deprived of the initial and basic citizenship rights. Demonstrating and asking for justice and rights is a big crime.
If the Taliban moderates their approach, their governing actions can bring security. If that happens; people will feel reassured and enjoy their lives under the flag of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.
Merit versus appointment
All achievements would be demolished when high-ranking officials concentrate on recommendations and appointments of their friends and relatives. The anarchical government of former president Ashraf Ghani is a revealing example. The Taliban should carefully consider this point in their governance.
Lobbying for universal donations
The Taliban cannot stand alone and cannot be independent without relying on other countries' cooperation.
How can the group expect to ensure national welfare without even being able to pay for guards? If the Taliban start their diplomatic and political talks with the language of extremism, none of the countries would voluntarily accept or recognise it.
The matter of ensuring security was interrupted by the Taliban in the past two decades of internal wars. The suicide attack done against the Taliban by ISIS-K at Kabul Airport is a clue that the conflict will continue. Afghanistan’s people bore the brunt of all tortures in this world. They were at war with the Soviet Union, internally, and against the Taliban. Now, ISIS-K is doing the same things that the Taliban had been doing in the past two decades.
The Taliban has been part of our society in the past two decades. The mind creates the image of them dressed with turbans, with beards, donning the lash, and spreading ignorance and extremism.
Today, even though they claim to be against foreign powers, they do not break television sets, they wear ties, speak English, and establish political offices.
In our retrospective analysis, today’s Taliban should know that neither can the Taliban rule with whips, nor is today’s society ready to accept the Taliban’s commands.