Amid reports that the Afghan Taliban has seized over 200 districts and nearly a dozen provincial capitals in Afghanistan, there is growing concern among liberal groups in Afghanistan and surrounding countries that the Doha agreement signed in February 2020 between the U.S. and the Islamic Emirate (Afghan Taliban organization) is the cause for the Taliban's growing strength.
Syed Akhtar Ali Shah, image courtesy: Tribune.com.pk
In an article, well-known Pakistani writer and advocate Dr. Syed Akhtar Ali Shah demanded that the United Nations rescind the Doha Agreement and prevent the Taliban jihadis from taking power in Afghanistan. The article – titled "Afghanistan: is world serious about rights violations?" – was published by a Pakistani newspaper.
Dr. Syed Akhtar Ali Shah, who heads the Good Governance Forum, noted "war crimes" being committed by the Taliban and demanded: "The whole discussion boils down to one main question; is the international community serious about human rights violations? To answer this question and address the U.S. condemnation of Taliban's crimes, the matter should be referred to a war crimes tribunal under the International Criminal Court (ICC)."
Following is the text of the article:
"In This Type Of State [Advocated By Taliban], The Command Of The [The Afghan Taliban] Emir Is Final; The Emir Is The Authority To Issue A Fatwa [Religious Decree] And All Other Individuals Are Subservient To Him"
"The United States has recently issued a bizarre statement on the mission in Kabul. It has held the Taliban accountable for massacring dozens of civilians in Spin Boldak and termed the incidents 'war crimes.' The U.S.'s mission statement confirmed reports of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC), which were issued last month [July 2021]. As many as 33 assassination incidents were reported in the southern Afghan province of Kandahar after Taliban insurgents overtook a crossing point with Pakistan.
"The commission [AIHRC] believes that the recent targeted attacks come as a kind of warning from the Taliban for everyone to fall in line. The attacks targeted religious scholars, tribal elders, civil society activists, journalists, and human rights defenders. The United Nations Security Council condemned what is called deliberate attacks on civilians in Afghanistan. It also declared its opposition to restoration of a Taliban rule in Afghanistan.
"In principle, the concerns and demands are in the right earnest. But it is almost laughable considering as to whom the demands are made. The obvious question is: who will rein in the Taliban? Who will hold trials for war crimes? Will the U.S. take practical steps to stop the atrocities, or was that a mere lip service? Did not the U.S. wash her hands off the matter? Will the international community come to the rescue of the civilian population that continues to suffer human rights violations?
"Those familiar with the world view of the Taliban, on both sides of the divide, know that they have their own well-defined strategy and modus operandi regardless of the name they operate under. In pursuit of their strategic goals, they keep changing their tactics. But they have been very clear about their ultimate objective of establishing an Islamic emirate headed by an Emir-ul-Momineen' [Leader of the Believers, i.e., the Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada]. In this type of state, the command of the Emir is final. The Emir is the authority to issue a fatwa [Islamic decree] and all other individuals are subservient to him. This form of government follows exclusiveness instead of inclusiveness in the affairs of the state."
"Human Rights Under The Universal Declaration Of Human Rights Are A Misplaced Notion In A State Based On The Concepts Of Taliban"
"A democratic system is out of question because there is hardly any room for dissent. Human rights under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights are a misplaced notion in a state based on the concepts of Taliban. Their atrocities and brutal actions against non-combatant civilians are a clear demonstration of the style of governance that accepts no opposition. The magnitude of terror is limitless as even poets, historians, and comedians are not spared. The gruesome murder of a well-known Afghan comedian, popularly known as Khasha Zwan, and the brutal killing of renowned Afghan poet and historian Abdullah Atifi are some recent examples.
"Human rights can only be ensured in an independent system of checks and balances – one that does not operate under the shadows of guns. Gun-toting persons controlling the streets, placing restrictions on movement, and curtailing freedom of choice are inimical to fundamental rights. The Taliban recently warned Afghan President Ashraf Ghani that his time has 'run out' and dismissed his accusations and declarations of war. They are hell bent on capturing political power in Afghanistan and excluding anyone who threatens their power.
"In this context, if history is a guide to future events, it is safe to say that the Taliban with scant regard for human rights would never agree to arrive at a common ground. They will continue to push their demand for Ghani's removal to create a rift within the [Afghanistan's] Council for Reconciliation. If such a crack appears, it will further embolden the Taliban, with more demands in the bag. Their appetite for concessions will continue to grow if they are continually appeased with concessions.
"The whole discussion boils down to one main question; is the international community serious about human rights violations? To answer this question and address the U.S. condemnation of Taliban's crimes, the matter should be referred to a war crimes tribunal under the International Criminal Court (ICC). The UN must impose restrictions and rescind the Doha Agreement because the Taliban have failed to perform their part of the agreement. The international community under the auspices of the UN must take punitive action for enduring peace and protection of human rights."
Source: The Express Tribune (Pakistan), August 11, 2021.