At Doha meeting Taliban urges lifting of banking sanctions

DOHA, Qatar — As restrictions on the rights and freedoms of women and girls in Afghanistan persist, the Taliban has called for the lifting of sanctions on the country’s banking system, describing it as the “only solution” to Afghanistan’s economic problems.

In his speech at the Doha meeting, Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid focused on two main issues: the country’s economy and the fight against narcotics. He referred to the Taliban’s restrictions on women and girls as “internal policies” and insisted that these measures should not be used by “powerful countries” as tools for “security, political, and economic pressure.”

Mujahid described the Doha meeting as an opportunity to discuss Afghanistan’s economic challenges. He also claimed that opium cultivation and drug production in Afghanistan have been eradicated.

Despite the Taliban reducing the salaries of female employees to 5,000 Afghanis and banning women from working in non-governmental organizations, Mujahid asserted that they have created job opportunities for the population.

While regional countries, especially Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Russia, and Pakistan, have expressed concerns about the activities of terrorist groups in Afghanistan, Mujahid claimed that the Taliban’s control has brought “security and stability” to the region. He also proposed forming a committee to address these issues through alternative agriculture.

The exclusion of women’s rights and human rights from the Doha meeting’s agenda and the absence of women and civil society members from the discussions have sparked strong reactions.