The United States was willing to set Taliban On the path to diplomatic recognition before the plan is derailed by the sudden turn of Afghan rulers on a promise to allow girls’ education, the Guardian understands.
The group sparked international outrage and confusion on Wednesday When she backed out of a deal to let teenage girls go to high schoolOnly a week after the Ministry of Education announced the opening of schools for all students.
US diplomats were so optimistic that the Taliban would keep their promise that a joint event was planned ahead of the weekend’s Doha Forum in Qatar that would have set in motion the process for granting diplomatic recognition to the group.
A seat was reserved for the Taliban in a panel discussion at the Girls’ Education Forum, where the Taliban representative could touch on the role of women with Afghan activists.
The sudden reversal undermined the argument that a more “moderate” leadership now dominates the Taliban, and that optimism was further clouded this weekend when the group ordered Afghanistan Television stations to remove BBC news bulletins in Pashto, Persian and Uzbek.
“This is a worrying development at a time of uncertainty and turmoil for the people of Afghanistan,” the BBC said in a statement on Sunday. “More than 6 million Afghans consume the independent and impartial BBC press on television every week.
Western officials have made clear that diplomatic recognition will be impossible unless the decision on girls’ education is reversed. The move would also make it difficult for the international community to raise money for next week’s International Pledge Conference, and would require tighter handling of any money raised so that it is not raised.
Thomas West, the US special envoy for Afghanistan, said: “I was surprised by the transformation that took place last Wednesday, and the world responded by condemning this move. It is a breach first and foremost of the confidence of the Afghan people.
“I think all is not lost. I hope we will see a reversal of this decision in the coming days.”
But West defended US engagement with the Taliban, saying a full diplomatic rift would mean abandoning 40 million Afghans amid growing fears of a possible famine in the country.
“We are talking about modalities for urgent humanitarian response, the need for more than a humanitarian response, a policy not just to admire the problem of a broken banking sector, but to find ways to fix it, to professionalize the central bank so that the international financial community can begin to trust it, we are talking about Terrorism and we talk about women’s rights.
“One of the first times in October we sat in an official setting, they had a request for us to ‘please put our civil servants – 500,000 – back to work.’ We thought the logical place to start given that the sector resonated a lot. In the international community is education. We had requests from them too. Number one, women and girls can attend at all levels across vast swathes of Afghanistan. Second, we wanted to see a mechanism for monitoring, and third, there is a serious and rigorous curriculum. Over the following months, the international community received the assurances The necessary, and most importantly, the Afghan people were told on March 23 that we would see girls enroll in secondary education and that did not happen.”
Hosni Jalil, a former interior minister, was one of many Afghan women in Doha who claimed the Taliban would not be able to rein in the demand for education. She said the past 20 years have not been a waste but have left a positive legacy. “We have facilitated a generation, two-thirds of the population, that knows what a better life looks like. That is why we will not give up. Loudly, they believe in freedom and democracy.”
Malala Yousafzai, the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize laureate for her fight for all children’s right to an education, told the forum that times have changed since the Taliban first banned girls’ education in 1996.
“It’s much harder this time – because women have seen what it means to be educated, and what it means to be empowered. This time it will be much more difficult for the Taliban to maintain the ban on girls’ education. They are learning in bunkers. They are protesting in the streets.” This ban will not last forever.They were waiting outside the school gates in their uniforms and were crying.She said, “Seeking education is the duty of every Muslim.”
There were no girls in secondary schools, said Dalia Fahmy, an Afghan political science professor in 1999. “In the 15 years after that, there were 3.7 million girls. During that time, a thousand women became business owners. This cannot be reduced. We live in a digital age and 68% have cell phones and 22% are connected to each other and to the world. This does not It can be reduced. 27% of parliamentarians are women.”
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