US reviewing its approach with Taliban: Official

The United States has been reviewing its approach and engagement with the Taliban in the context of their increasingly draconian edicts which discriminate against women and girls in Afghanistan, a US State Department spokesperson told Amu on Tuesday.

Taliban has imposed at least three restrictions on women – including banning them from attending universities, working in NGOs and attending university entrance exams in private universities.

“We know that many organizations operating in Afghanistan suspended or reduced operations because they cannot do their work under the Taliban’s rules,” the spokesperson said. “This imperils the 28 million Afghans who need humanitarian assistance this year, especially women and children. We support the NGOs and what they are doing on the ground.”

The spokesperson said that the US remains firmly committed to helping alleviate the suffering of the Afghan people – including women and girls.

“Toward that end, we have provided more than $1.1 billion in assistance since August 2021 to provide critical aid to the Afghan people amid the country’s ongoing humanitarian crisis. Going forward we will support continued assistance in programs where women are included and in areas of critical need including life-saving health and food,” the official added.

Two senior UN officials visited Kabul over the past month to convince the Taliban to review its decisions on women and girls, but the trips ended without an achievement.

Two analysts said that a change in US’s approach will leave a big impact on the Taliban and will leave regional players with many questions.

“No doubt, Taliban’s treatment can leave a big impact. The approach and decisions of US as a supporter of democracy and human values will definitely leave an impact on Taliban decisions,” said Mahdi Afzali, an analyst in international relations.

Another analyst, Sayed Massoud, said he believes that the US will not bring a big change in its approach – towards the Taliban.

“The US’s approach includes putting pressure on the Taliban to implement articles three and four of the Doha agreement, and it will never have an alternative for the Taliban,” he said.

Based on the Doha agreement signed between the US and the Taliban in Qatar in February 2020, the Taliban has agreed to prevent Afghanistan from being used by any group as a threat to US and its allies.