The US finally ended its occupation of Afghanistan on Tuesday 31 August after 20 years of military occupation, ending its longest war where the Taliban has swiftly taken over the country in a matter of weeks relatively without much bloodshed thus uniting the country.
The Taliban have indeed surprised everyone with their resilience and resistance to American occupation over two decades and their success in taking over from a puppet Afghan regime based on a facade of Hollywood democracy that crumbled within days.
They seem to have repeated their performance when they united the country back in 1996 against the warring warlords establishing the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan MK1 till they were forcefully removed after American invasion in 2001.
Their governing style was indeed perceived as medieval with a conservative interpretation of Islam and marred with human rights abuses against tribal, ethnic and sectarian minorities and specially their outdated views on the role of women in the society.
There is evidence that the Taliban have learnt their lessons and seem to be enlightened now as shown by their stunning victory and their successful negotiations leading to the termination of US occupation of their country.
However Taliban Mk 2 need to come out and fulfil the promises they have made to uphold human rights for all Afghans, establish good governance and bring peace to its people who have been suffering due to conflicts for more than four decades.
Now that they have united the country, the international community should give them a chance to succeed and facilitate the establishment of peace, harmony and rule of law in Afghanistan.
Instead of talking of Afghan’s bravery and either glorifying or demonising the Taliban, its time to take stock of the humanitarian crisis that the Afghans have gone through for almost half a century and help them live in peace.
During this time, hundreds of thousands have been killed, millions have been living as refugees all over the world with a generation suffering from lack of education, healthcare and opportunities to live in peace.
Current estimates are that 14 million people are going hungry, that is one-third of Afghanistan’s population of 38 million is facing food insecurity, including two million children who are already malnourished, according to the World Food Programme (WFP).
Most Afghans live in poverty where more than 50% of the population of the country lives below the poverty line and 90% of Afghans living on less than $2/day.
In addition to the millions of Afghan refugees outside the country more than half a million Afghans are internally displaced living as refugees within their own country.
The new Afghan government indeed has a big challenge to restore peace, dignity, security for living under rule of law, education and healthcare for all its citizens and the international community must provide all its support towards that goal.