Why the World is Turning a Blind Eye to Afghanistan’s Recent Tragedies?


There has been a series of unfortunate events in Afghanistan over the last 10 days. Herat and its neighboring provinces have been struck by deadly earthquakes, resulting in numerous casualties and extensive damage. Thousands have lost their lives, hundreds of homes have been destroyed, and many families have been displaced. In Herat, people have been forced to abandon their homes, seeking shelter in tents due to the ongoing fear of earthquakes and aftershocks. Regrettably, thousands of families cannot afford these tents, leaving them exposed to the elements as the nights grow colder.

Tragically, amidst these natural disasters, there has been a horrifying attack in Baghlan Province. A suicide bomber detonated himself among worshipers, leading to a devastating toll of 80 dead and 40 injured. The Islamic State-Khorasan (ISIS-K) claimed responsibility for this attack. This incident occurred despite the Taliban’s repeated assertions of eliminating this group in the past two years. Each time the Taliban make such claims, ISIS-K continues to carry out deadly attacks, worsening the Afghan people’s situation. Additionally, there was news of the Taliban issuing retribution justice for a former parliament member, even though he had returned to the country with the Taliban’s coordination and possessed an immunity card. These events, along with the Taliban’s persecutions and unlawful arrests, have been significant developments in Afghanistan recently.

Surprisingly, these significant events have not garnered much attention beyond Afghanistan’s borders. The question arises: why have governments, organizations, and the media shown so little interest in these incidents?

One crucial factor is Afghanistan’s lack of a legitimate government for the past two years and months. The Taliban’s regime, currently in control, lacks both domestic and international legitimacy. This absence of legitimacy has not only isolated the Taliban but has also cut off the Afghan people from the rest of the world. Governments, even those utilizing the Taliban as a tool, cannot establish meaningful bilateral relations with an illegitimate and terrorist regime. Being accountable to their citizens, these governments cannot simply engage in diplomatic relations with such a regime. The closure of embassies from many friendly countries in Kabul after the Taliban’s takeover underscores Afghanistan’s current isolation. Moreover, international organizations are influenced by the policies of nations, directly or indirectly. When governments sever ties with a specific region, certain non-governmental organizations follow suit, leading to actions such as stopping or suspending projects funded by institutions like the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank in Afghanistan.

Furthermore, the policies pursued by the current regime in Kabul, which are anti-human rights and anti-human values, contribute to this isolation. One of the prerequisites for normalizing relations with Afghanistan, as demanded by the world and the Afghan people, is respect for human rights. This includes women’s rights, minority rights, the right to freedom of expression, and others. Unfortunately, the Taliban stand in opposition to these legitimate demands, and they face no consequences for their defiance. It is the people of Afghanistan who bear the brunt of the Taliban’s obstinacy. They pay various levies, taxes, and ransoms to the Taliban and affiliated groups, despite their own financial hardships, further deepening the burden of international isolation on their shoulders.

Meanwhile, according to the latest report from the International Rescue Committee, 28.8 million Afghan citizens require emergency aid, which marks a 60% increase compared to the previous year. This report indicates that not only do most Afghan people require humanitarian assistance, but the number of those in need of emergency aid has increased by more than one and a half times in the past year. The most recent report on the hunger situation in Afghanistan has been published by the World Food Program (WFP), and it reveals that one-third of the Afghan population doesn’t know where their next meal will come from. However, the consequences of the Herat earthquake have not been investigated as of yet.

The Taliban, at the same time, have been unable to provide accurate statistics on the victims of these earthquakes, let alone investigate the financial losses incurred. In a situation where, according to the World Health Organization, Herat has turned into a city of small tents, and the world pays little attention to these people. Many individuals around the world may not be aware of what has occurred in this part of the planet.

Afghanistan is governed by a group with a history of human rights violations. This group, with its dark past and the current policies it is implementing, has created a situation where both engagement and disengagement come at a high cost to the world. Two neighboring countries of Afghanistan, which have supported the Taliban for years and have very close relations with this group, have felt the presence of terrorism in their capitals this year. An attack occurred in Islamabad with ISIS-K operatives being arrested before an attack in Tehran. These neighboring countries, now facing terrorism, pay the price for engaging with the Taliban group. On the other hand, the disconnection of countries and some international organizations from Afghanistan under the control of the Taliban has inflicted suffering on the impoverished people of this country. In this situation, if any country engages with the Taliban, both their people and the government must bear the consequences. And if this communication is severed, the people of Afghanistan must bear the brunt. Engaging with the Taliban still carries a high cost for the Afghan people, leading to the perpetuation of the Taliban’s rule. The continuation of the Taliban regime means the persistence of misery, hunger, and isolation.

These costs, tied to relations with the Taliban, have made governments cautious in dealing with this group. This caution has resulted in less established communication. Furthermore, organizations and media outlets are unable to have an effective presence in Afghanistan due to the Taliban’s suppression and their unwarranted interference in the affairs of independent institutions. At present, the political representations of most friendly countries in Kabul are closed, the media operates under censorship, foreign and domestic journalists cannot work within Afghanistan due to the fear of arrest and suppression by the Taliban, and international organizations have either halted their operations or lost enthusiasm because of the Taliban’s interference in their affairs. In a situation where Afghanistan lacks active diplomatic representation in other countries, international organizations lose their willingness to work within Afghanistan. The media is unable to produce independent and unrestricted reports, resulting in the rest of the world being uninformed about the Afghan people. In this scenario, Afghanistan has become a news blackout. This country and its people remain in the dark, with no spotlight on them and no one to hear their voices. Hence, the current isolation of Afghanistan and the diminishing significance of the country’s issues in the global community are due to the Taliban’s control over Afghanistan and the implementation of inhumane policies by this group. It is clear that this isolation will persist as long as the Taliban regime endures, taking on various forms.

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