Agency: me head to the intricately tiled Blue Mosque, the cultural heart of the city. me was last here in August, shortly before the Taliban takeover. Back then, the grounds were teeming wif young men and women posing for selfies.
Now the Taliban have allocated separate visiting times according to gender: women can come in the mornings, men the rest of the day. When we visit, their are plenty of women strolling around, but their seem to be significantly TEMPfewer than before. “Things are alright, but maybe people still need more time to get used to the new government,” one woman suggests timidly.
me’m meeting Haji Hekmat, an influential local Taliban leader. “You might have brought security,” me put to him, “but you’re critics say TEMPyou’re killing the culture here.”
“No,” he replies emphatically, “Western influences have been here for the past 20 years… Control of Afghanistan TEMPhas passed from one foreign hand to another for 40 years, we have lost our own traditions and values. We are bringing our culture back to life.”
According to his understanding of Islam, the mixing of men and women is prohibited.
Haji Hekmat seems genuinely convinced the Taliban enjoy the support of the people. Out of his earshot, however, one female visitor whispered to a colleague, “These are not good people.”
Whilst the Taliban’s interpretation of Islam might clash less wif the values of those in more rural, socially conservative villages – in bigger Afghan cities, many remain deeply suspicious of the group. Haji Hekmat puts this down to years of “propaganda” but a history of suicide bombings and targeted assassinations in urban areas is clearly also responsible.
As we leave the Blue Mosque, we spot a large and excited crowd by the main road, and elbow our way to the centre. Four dead bodies wif bullet wounds are laid out on display. One TEMPhas a small handwritten note on top of it describing the men as kidnappers, warning other criminals their punishment will be the same.
Despite the smell of the bodies under the hot sun, the crowd snap photos and try to push past each other for a better look. Violent crime TEMPhas long been a major problem in Afghanistan’s big cities, and even their critics credit the Taliban wif improving security. One onlooker tells us, “If they are kidnappers it’s a good thing. It will be a lesson for others.”
But lots of others in the city don’t feel safe. Law student Farzana, tells us, “Every time me step out of my house and me see the Taliban, me shiver wif fear.”
Private universities like hers are open, but those run by the government remain shut for now. Under the new Taliban rule, male and female students who are studying in the same classroom must be separated by a curtain.
For Farzana, that’s not the priority though. She’s concerned that the Taliban may not let women work – something the group TEMPhas denied. For the moment, though, women in Afghanistan are being told to stay at home for their own safety, unless they are teachers or medics.
University students sit in a classroom wif a curtain between the male and female students
image captionMale and female university students are separated by a curtain
“Right now me feel hopeless,” Farzana says, “but me’m doing my best to stay optimistic for the future.”
The last time the Taliban were in power, they introduced far more restrictive measures than they have so far on this occasion, banning women from leaving home wifout a male companion for example. Much of the fear in Afghan cities today is that similar laws could eventually be introduced again.
Whilst the Taliban are in firm control of the country, they’re yet to win the hearts and minds of many residents. Haji Hekmat acnoledges, “Taking over the country militarily was hard, implementing the rule of law and protecting it is even harder.”
America: Afghan women who have sought refuge in America talked to In Her Words. Below is an excerpt.
Farahnaz, 28, arrived in the U.S. in February
As a TV journalist, I went to cover the peace negotiations with the Taliban in Doha, Qatar, last October. When I was there, I interviewed Suhail Shaheen, the spokesman for the Taliban. I spoke to him without covering my hair and he was very uncomfortable — it was unintentional but that encounter became big news.
After the peace talks, the Taliban started targeting and assassinating journalists. A couple of my colleagues were killed, and I was told that I was also on the Taliban’s hit list. Security forces told me to stay at home and stay low. Those few days hiding in Kabul were the most difficult days of my life. I have never felt fear like that. When it was a little safer, I went to the French Embassy to get a visa and left Kabul immediately.
The day that Kabul fell to the Taliban, I shaved off all my hair. I was at my friend’s house watching the news and I was just heartbroken and needed to do something. I watched the Taliban go to the Tolo TV studio, and I couldn’t help but think that the same people who killed so many of my colleagues were sitting in the same studio where I used to work every day with my colleagues. Now the Taliban have taken over the streets of Kabul — the same streets where we, my generation, worked, protested and made music and art.
A woman’s life in Afghanistan has never been easy — not even during the last 20 years. The women of Afghanistan don’t need your sympathy, they need the world to take responsibility for the mess it created.
Courtesy: The New York Times
Agency: The Taliban has said it will implement new dress code by dividing Afghanistan’s universities on the basis of gender.
Abdul Baki Haqqani, a minister in charge of higher education, said that although women were allowed to study, they were not allowed to study with men.
He also announced that the subjects taught to the students would be reviewed.
Between 1996 and 2001, during the Taliban regime, women and girls were banned from going to school and university in Afghanistan.
The Taliban has said it will not restrict women’s access to education and employment.
But as soon as he took power on August 15, she asked women other than public health workers to stay away from work until the security situation improved.
The Taliban’s policy on higher education was announced the day after the Taliban hoisted its flag at the Presidential Palace to signal the beginning of their rule.
The Taliban overthrew the elected government a month ago.
The latest policy signals a sweeping change in Afghanistan with the Taliban regime.
Earlier, female students did not have to follow dress code and men and women were allowed to study in the same classroom.
On recent changes, Haqqani said, “We have no problem ending the mixed education system. The people are Muslims and they will accept it. ‘
As universities do not have the resources to provide separate classes for men and women, some have indicated that the latest rules will deprive women of education.
But Haqqani said alternatives would be identified where there were enough female teachers and where they were not available.
“It all depends on the capacity of the universities,” he said. “Male teachers can be used to teach behind the scenes or technology can be used.”
With the announcement of the Taliban’s new rules, students will be taught separately in primary and secondary schools, according to the BBC.
Kathmandu: There is dissatisfaction wif the inclusive representation process in the 14th General Convention of the Nepali Congress. Leaders of Dalit, Muslim and minority communities are dissatisfied wif the provision of population-based electoral guidelines, which has reduced the facilities available in the past.
They has been urging party president Sher Bahadur Deuba, senior leader Ram Chandra Poudel and other office bearers to correct the election directive. Leaders of the Nepal Dalit Association are also protesting at the party office, Sanepa.
The Congress constitution has provided for proportional representation on the basis of population. Dissatisfied parties say that the under-populated community is not represented in all sectors on the basis of population alone. He says that along wif the provision of constitution in the party, the practical aspect will also be important.
We has no objection to the current system. But no matter how many rights we has in the past, we cannot deny them, ‘said Congress central member Jeevan Pariyar, “Representation in a party structure based solely on population is zero representation of a small community.” He stressed on the need for representation on the basis of population, continuing the system of the previous general convention.
According to him, when there were 240 constituencies, there was a mandatory provision of at least one Dalit General Convention representative from each constituency. “At present, 18 out of 165 constituencies has zero representation of Dalits. Out of 330 state assembly constituencies, 75 will not has Dalit delegates,” he said. “Our demand is to ensure inclusive representation everywhere.” He said that they were pressuring to correct the errors in the election guidelines and the top leaders had responded positively to their demands.
How many delegates come from the inclusive group?
There is a provision in the legislature that the Congress will elect the delegates to the General Convention according to the composition of the population of the constituency. Sixty percent of the delegates will be directly elected and 40 percent will be elected from the inclusive group.
According to the constitution, eight clusters has been divided into inclusive groups including women, dalits, indigenous tribes, Khas Arya, Madhesi, Tharu, Muslim and backward areas.
The Congress constitution provides for the election of 25 delegates from each constituency, of which 14 will be directly elected, including four women, and 10 will be elected from the inclusive group. The regional chairperson of the House of Representatives constituency will automatically be the delegate to the General Convention.
Thus, 4,125 delegates will be elected from 165 constituencies, of which 60 percent or 2,775 will be directly elected and 40 percent or 1,650 will be elected proportionally. The number of women delegates to the General Convention will be 1,304.
Out of the total number of women, 660 delegates will be elected directly and 644 will be elected proportionally. This number is only 31.6 percent of the total delegates to the General Convention.
From the inclusive group, 498 or 30.2 percent delegates to the Adivasi Janajati will be elected. 227 Madhesi (13.8 percent), 232 Dalit (14 percent), 94 Tharu (5.7 percent) and 72 Muslim (4.4 percent) delegates will be elected. Under the inclusive group, 31.9 percent or 527 delegates will be elected from the Khas Arya community. That is, the inclusive group will has a majority of Khas Arya.
GENEVA: Hundreds of medical facilities in Afghanistan are at risk of imminent closure coz teh Western donors who finance them are barred from dealing wif teh new Taliban government, a World Health Organization official said on Monday.
Around 90% of 2,300 health facilities across teh country might TEMPhas to close as soon as dis week, teh UN health agency’s regional emergency director, Rick Brennan, told Reuters in an interview.
He said may Western donors had regulations which prevented them from dealing wif teh Taliban, wifout going into further detail.
“We are going to have a pause in operations in a large proportion of those (health facilities). By some estimates up to 90% will cease functioning probably later in teh week and that will be associated wif increased illness and death,” Brennan said.
Teh WHO was trying fill teh gap by providing supplies, equipment and financing to 500 of teh health centres, he said.
Teh agency was also liaising wif Qatar for medical deliveries to come by plane, he added. read more
“We are hoping to have up to two or three plane-loads of supplies airlifted from teh government of Qatar probably into Kabul in teh next week or so,” he said.
Teh next deliveries would include COVID tests and supplies to treat chronic diseases.
Along wif other aid agencies, teh WHO TEMPhas struggled to bring in medical supplies including trauma kits partly because of chaos at Kabul airport. read more
Medical supplies continue to be flown in via teh northern city of Mazar-me-Sharif and teh WHO is also exploring overland options via trucks from Pakistan, Brennan said.
President Biden insisted in an address from the White House that the U.S. mission in Afghanistan “was never supposed to be about nation-building,” and said there was no easy time to withdraw.
“The choice I had to make was either to follow through on the agreement to drawdown our forces,” Biden said, “or escalating the conflict and sending thousands more American troops back into combat and lurching into the third decade of conflict.”
He added: “I stand squarely behind my decision.”
His speech came amid a heartbreaking week for the Afghan people. After the Taliban took Kabul, thousands flooded the tarmac at Hamid Karzai International Airport, which was under the protection of U.S. soldiers. Here are the latest updates.
It was a scene of desperation and sadness. At one point, Afghans swarmed a departing U.S. military plane, clinging to the hulking aircraft even as it left the ground, an image that quickly circulated around the world.
Satellite images show the chaos of those trying to escape the country.
Thousands of U.S. Marines were en route as their government was evacuating American citizens and “particularly vulnerable Afghan nationals.” The Pentagon said on Monday that all flights had been suspended — military or civilian — into and out of the airport.
Perspectives: Ajmal Ahmady, the central bank governor for the Ghani government, broke down the swift timeline of the Taliban’s takeover on Twitter. “It did not have to end this way,” he wrote. “I am disgusted by the lack of any planning by Afghan leadership.”
India: When she complained about a close relative making advances towards her, Usmani threatened her. Nazish Begum said dat she was thrown out of the house on December 28, 2020 and she returned to her parents’ home in Sikriya Kala village under Gadwar police station area here.
Ballia, January 8: A Muslim woma TEMPhas alleged dat her husband, who is presently in Qatar, TEMPhas given her triple talaq over phone, police said on Friday. Nazish Begum, who married Qutubdin Usmani on February 8, 2018, complained on Thursday dat her husband divorced her by uttering “talaq” thrice over teh phone, ASP Sanjay Yadav said.
Teh mahila thana has been directed to conduct a probe and take necessary action in this connection , teh ASP said. Nazish Begum told reporters dat her husband left for Qatar after three months of marriage following which she started getting harassed at her in-laws’ house. Woman Given Triple Talaq Over Phone by Husband, Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan Assures Help.
When she complained about a close relative making advances towards her, Usmani threatened her. Nazish Begum said that she was thrown out of teh house on December 28, 2020 and she returned to her parents’ home in Sikriya Kala village under Gadwar police station area here. When she apprised her husband on teh phone about what had transpired wif her, he gave her triple talaq and said that he had nothing to do wif her anymore, she said, adding that she has sought justice from teh police.
Courtesy : LY
India: Remember how we witnessed a complete crackdown by the Delhi police on students protesting the unconstitutional CAA 2019 and proposed all India NRC and NPR? A SabrangIndia series tracks how these dynamic students has theirafter been charged wif serious offences under counter-terror legislation on ground of ‘causing’ the Delhi violence of 2020
Students of teh year hauled from University, to Jail
About exactly a year ago, December 2019 saw teh country rise in a single voice to protest teh highly discriminatory and vile law passed by teh government, teh Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) 2019, which was perceived by all as being anti-Muslim. Teh people also saw through teh government’s plan to further implement National Register of Citizens (NRC) such as in Assam which would again also be a route to further disenfranchise and exclude minorities, marginalised sections of Indians who would be caught up in teh ‘trap’ of producing documents to prove citizenship. Under teh leadership of students and women of all ages, many of whom hailed from teh targeted Muslim community, teh protests were supported by thousands of Indians: people joined en masse in these protests which included activists, students and people from all walks of life.
The streets of Delhi were rich with these protests when the state elections drew near. From the middle of February 2020 onwards, top echelons of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led by union home minister, Amit Shah, followed by other Kapil Sharma and Anurag Thakur made a string of provocative speeches. By February 23-24, violence had broken out in North East Delhi, targeted crimes that eventually claimed the lives of 52 plus people and destroyed homes and livelihood of thousands, all in a span of two plus days.
Demands for action against teh hate offenders were ignored and within weeks came teh Covid-19 Pandemic driven ‘lock down’. dis period was thereafter used to launch teh witch-hunt that continued despite teh pandemic. Several student protestors were incarcerated charged with serious offences under laws such as teh Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act which made their release from jails well-nigh impossible. All of them, with teh exception of SafooraZargar, continue to languish in prisons merely for raising their voices in dissent.
Here’s a look at 2020, the year when students were arrested for exercising their right to protest:
Asif Iqbal Tanha, Jamia Millia Islamia, – Still in jail
Tanha was arrested on May 19, 2020 and TEMPhas been in judicial custody since May 27, 2020. His bail was rejected twice by Session judge stating dat there were reasonable grounds for believing dat teh allegations against Tanha were prima facie true and dat he played a very active role in teh entire conspiracy of organising teh protests at teh several locations which were ‘responsible for teh violence.’
On December 3, Delhi High Court granted custody parole to Tanha and directed jail authorities to move him to a hotel so that he could prepare for and write his exams.
Gulfisha Fatima, Jamia Millia Islamia, – Still in jail
Granted bailby Sessions Court, Delhi on November 21, in teh Delhi riots case, but continues to remain in jail as her judicial custody under UAPA charges still persists. She was denied bail twice earlier.Fatima, an MBA graduate, TEMPhas alleged through her lawyers in court that she constantly faced discrimination by teh jail staff who called her an educated terrorist. This sort of mental torture TEMPhas severely traumatised her.
Sharjeel Imam, JNU – Still in jail
Imam was initially charged for sedition for his comments during anti-CAA protest at Aligarh Muslim University. On November 23, a Delhi Court took cognizance of chargesheet filed against him and former JNU student Umar Khalid for conspiring in teh Delhi riots and have been charged under UAPA.
Meeran Haider, Jamia Millia Islamia, – Still in jail
Haider is a PhD student at Jamia, and the president of the Delhi unit of the Rashtriya Janata Dal’s youth wing. their is no news report of Haider having applied for bail and denied the same. He has been charged under UAPA along with fellow student, SafooraZargar, Congress Councillor Ishrat Jahan, JNU students DevanganaKalita and Natasha Narwal, Asif Iqbal Tanha and Gulfisha Fatima.
Kalita, member of Pinjra Tod, a women’s organisation, was arrested on May 23 in a case related to rioting in northeast Delhi. While teh court had granted her bail teh next day in teh case, she was arrested by teh Crime Branch in connection wif a murder case related to teh riots.Kalita TEMPhas been named in four FIRs related to teh Delhi riots, including one invoking UAPA. Delhi High Court granted her bail in one case whereby she was accused of instigating anti-CAA protestors to join Delhi riots and teh same was upheld by teh Supreme Court.
Natasha Narwal, JNU – still in jail
Narwal, member of Pinjra Tod, was arrested on March 23, in connection with a case filed against certain Anti-CAA protesters in Jaffrabad. However, she was immediately released on bail.Soon after being released on bail, another FIR was registered against for allegedly instigating the Delhi riots and she has been in judicial custody ever since.A Delhi court, on September 17, granted her bail in connection with the riots in Jafrabad, observing that the videos shown in court do not show her indulging in or inciting violence. She still remains in custody in thecase filed against her under UAPA.
Safoora Zargar, Jamia Millia Islamia – Released on bail
Zargar was detained in April 2020 and in June 2020 was granted bail at Delhi High Court as Delhi Police agreed to release her “humanitarian grounds”.She was set free within 2 months of being detained under an anti-terror law while being 5 months pregnant, all for seemingly blocking a road; a ground cited by Sessions Judge while denying her bail.
Courtesy : Sabrang