The quiet Afghan valley standing up to the Taliban
Small groups of guerrillas, led by soldiers from the former Afghan army, have been taking on the Taliban.But whilst the Taliban are more powerful and better armed than ever before, here and in neighbouring province of Panjshir they are facing a nascent armed resistance to their rule in Afghanistan.
A U.N. watchdog group has highlighted the possibility that Taliban-controlled Afghanistan could secure a seat on the United Nations Human Rights Council in October.
U.N Watch tweeted out a press release discussing the Maldives’ intention to run for a seat on the Human Rights Council and noted that other candidates vying for the open Asian seats include South Korea, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Bahrain, Kyrgyzstan and Afghanistan.
The U.N. Human Rights Council is no stranger to controversy and having undemocratic, dictatorial members on the council is nothing new. Earlier this year, Russia was voted off the council by the U.N. General Assembly.
Critics recall Taliban leader's 2020 New York Times op-ed after link established to slain Al Zawahiri
A link between slain terrorist Ayman Al Zawahiri and Taliban leader Sirajuddin Haqqani has critics recalling the latter's infamous 2020 op-ed in the New York Times.President Biden ordered the successful drone strike on a home in Kabul where Al Zawahiri was staying, which according to the Associated Press was owned by a top aide to deputy Taliban leader Sirajuddin Haqqani. The same Haqqani, who heads the terrorist Haqqani network linked to suicide bombings and attacks on Americans, penned an infamous 2020 op-ed for the New York Times about what the Taliban wanted from the U.S. in Afghanistan.
Other controversial members include China, Cuba and Venezuela.
TALIBAN CLAIMS IT WAS UNAWARE AL-QAEDA CHIEF AL-ZAWAHRI WAS IN AFGHANISTAN BEFORE US DRONE STRIKE
Afghanistan would occupy one of the fourteen seats up for election. The former government of Afghanistan retains control of the U.N. permanent mission, but the Taliban nominated one of its spokesmen to take the position as ambassador, a decision left up to a nine-member credential committee that includes China, Russia and the United States. The committee has yet to rule on the Taliban's request.
U.N. Watch Executive Director Hillel Neuer called it "two steps" for the Taliban to obtain a seat on the council.
The Human Rights Council scorecard on Afghanistan has more marks against it than in support of it. The current Afghan government has not ratified the nine core international human rights treaties, nor has it developed or published a plan for the implementation of Universal Periodic Review recommendations.
Taliban fighters swap arms for books as hundreds return to school
Gul Agha Jalali used to spend his nights planting bombs -- hoping to target an Afghan government soldier or, better still, a foreign serviceman. - 'Motivated mujahideen' - The desire of fighters like Jalali to go back to school showed Afghans yearned for education, government spokesman Bilal Karimi said. Video: Three Palestinian militants killed in West Bank days after Gaza ceasefire (NBC News) Your browser does not support this video "Many motivated mujahideen who had not completed their studies reached out to educational institutions and are now studying their favourite courses," he told AFP.
The U.N. convened an "urgent debate" on Afghanistan July 1, addressing concerns regarding the Taliban’s control of the country. A report from the U.N. Mission in Afghanistan released only a few weeks later confirmed the validity of many of the concerns raised in the aftermath of this change in power.
BIDEN'S FAILED AFGHANISTAN WITHDRAWAL LET TALIBAN TURN NATION INTO A TERRORIST STATE
The report noted that the Taliban have "limited dissent by cracking down on protests and curbing media freedoms," also noting the erosion of the rights of women and girls, including restrictions on the rights to access education and the workplace and participation in public life.
The report raised concerns that the Taliban act with "impunity," and that nationwide economic, financial and humanitarian crisis has exacerbated the situation.
Biden’s failed Afghanistan withdrawal let Taliban turn nation into a terrorist state
Al Qaeda's return to Afghanistan is proof Biden’s chaotic withdrawal left a failed terrorist state run by the Taliban. Now the U.S. is in far greater danger.But the strike also reflected a strategic failure because the same toxic mixture of a Taliban regime providing sanctuary to al Qaeda, which resulted in the 9/11 terrorist attacks, has been repeated following the chaotic U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan last summer.
AFGHAN SIKHS SEEK REFUGE IN INDIA DUE TO RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION AT HOME
"Education is not only a basic human right but the key to the development of a nation," said Markus Potzel, the U.N. acting special representative for Afghanistan.
"It is beyond time for all Afghans to be able to live in peace and rebuild their lives after 20 years of armed conflict," he added. "Our monitoring reveals that, despite the improved security situation since (August 15), the people of Afghanistan, in particular women and girls, are deprived of the full enjoyment of their human rights."
At least 59% of the population is in need of humanitarian assistance, a significant increase of six million people since the start of 2021, according to the report.
A U.N. Human Rights Council spokesman stressed that the Taliban do not have any representation on any U.N. body and that it was Afghanistan that retains a representative at the permanent mission. A General Assembly spokesperson did not respond to questions on the U.N.’s stance regarding the pending decision.
The U.S. stepped away from the Human Rights Council in 2018 over concerns the group protected human rights abusers and was "a cesspool of political bias." President Biden sought re-election to the council shortly after taking office, securing a seat for the 2022-2024 term.