Biden administration worried Taliban isn’t diverse enough

Biden administration worried Taliban isn’t diverse enough

On Tuesday, the US State Department expressed concerns regarding the noticeable lack of female leaders, as well as the past actions and wanted statuses of Afghanistan’s new leaders.

Biden administration worried Taliban isn't diverse enough

The Post Millennial,9 August, 2021 

As the world considers whether or not to recognize the Taliban as a legitimate government, there is growing concern from world leaders regarding the roster of the new caretaker government announced on Tuesday by the Taliban.

On Tuesday, the US State Department expressed concerns regarding the noticeable lack of female leaders, as well as the past actions and wanted statuses of Afghanistan’s new leaders.
In a statement shared with The Hill, a State Department spokesperson said that although the Taliban “has presented this as a caretaker cabinet,” the US “will judge the Taliban by its actions, not words.”
“We have made clear our expectation that the Afghan people deserve an inclusive government,” the spokesperson said.
The State Department’s statement also noted that the list of new leaders announced by the Taliban “consists exclusively of individuals who are members of the Taliban or their close associates and no women.”
This notable absence of women in the inner core of the government comes despite the Taliban saying that they have been urging women to join government offices in an attempt to differentiate the Taliban rule of 2021 to that of 20 years ago, where women and girls were placed under strict rules preventing them from going to school and only being allowed to leave the house with a male companion.
According to Agence France-Presse, the European Union raised concerns over the lack of women and inclusion of different groups in the Taliban’s new government
“Upon initial analysis of the names announced, it does not look like the inclusive and representative formation in terms of the rich ethnic and religious diversity of Afghanistan we hoped to see and that the Taliban were promising over the past weeks,” an EU spokesperson said.
The concerns come as the EU had set five conditions for increasing their engagement with the Taliban, one of which included the formation of an “inclusive and representative” transitional government.The spokesperson for the EU said that “such inclusivity and representation is expected in the composition of a future transitional government, and as result of negotiations.”
The State Department also noted on Tuesday that it was “concerned by the affiliations and track records of some of the individuals.”
One person of concern is the newly appointed interior minister Sarajuddin Haqqani, who is on the FBI’s most wanted list in connection to a 2008 bombing at the Kabul Serena Hotel which killed six people, including one American. He is also accused of an assassination attempt on then-Afghan president Hamid Karzai.
The FBI had been offering a $5 million reward for information leading to Haqqani’s arrest, but was reported increased to $10 million on Tuesday.
Despite being in close contact with the Taliban to organize additional evacuations after the US military’s withdrawal from Afghanistan last week, the US has yet to officially recognize the Taliban as Afghanistan’s legitimate ruling.
The State Department spokesperson said that the Biden administration will “continue to hold the Taliban to their commitments to allow safe passage for foreign nationals and Afghans with travel documents, including permitting flights currently ready to fly out of Afghanistan to agreed-upon onward destinations.”
“We also reiterate our clear expectation that the Taliban ensure that Afghan soil is not used to threaten any other countries and allow humanitarian access in support of the Afghan people,” the statement added. “The world is watching closely.”

Taliban AGREE to let 200 Americans and foreigners working in Afghanistan fly out of Kabul Airport on charter planes Thursday after rescuers claimed State Department was frustrating evacuation efforts

  • Taliban authorities have agreed to let 200 Americans and foreigners leave
  • New charter flights out of Kabul will ferry the evacuees, a US official said 
  • It follows a standoff with charter plans stuck on the tarmac at Mazar-i-Sharif
  • Organizers claimed State Department was not doing enough to facilitate flights
  • But Secretary of State Blinken blamed the standoff on the Taliban 
  • It’s unclear if the flights out of Kabul will carry those stranded in Mazar-i-Sharif 

Taliban authorities have agreed to let 200 American civilians and other non-Afghans to depart on charter flights from Kabul airport, a U.S. official said.

The Taliban were pressed to allow the departures by U.S. Special Representative Zalmay Khalilzad, said the official, who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity on Thursday.

The departures were expected on Thursday, and an exact breakdown of how many US citizens and people from other nations will be on the flight has not been shared.

The official could not say whether these Americans and third-country nationals were among people who have been stranded for days in Mazar-i-Sharif 260 miles north of Kabul on charter flights that were barred from taking off.

Planes chartered to carry people out of Afghanistan have been stuck at Mazar-i-Sharif International Airport, with some organizers saying the State Department was not doing enough to facilitate their departure. 

The criticism came after an email leak suggested that the agency prevented several private flights from leaving Afghanistan with U.S. citizens and Afghan allies on board. 

Remaining foreigners board first flight from Kabul since evacuation

 Taliban authorities have agreed to let 200 American civilians and third country nationals depart on charter flights from Kabul airport. The Kabul Airport is seen above

Grounded planes are seen at Mazar-i-Sharif International Airport, where hundreds of evacuees have been stuck and unable to leave Afghanistan in a standoff between the US and Taliban

Grounded planes are seen at Mazar-i-Sharif International Airport, where hundreds of evacuees have been stuck and unable to leave Afghanistan in a standoff between the US and Taliban

Blinken met with refugees at the U.S. Air Base in Ramstein, Germany on Wednesday as the State Department faces criticism after leaked emails show it refused to let privately chartered planes land at the Doha, Qatar U.S. military base, even if they have Americans on board

Blinken met with refugees at the U.S. Air Base in Ramstein, Germany on Wednesday as the State Department faces criticism after leaked emails show it refused to let privately chartered planes land at the Doha, Qatar U.S. military base, even if they have Americans on board

Blinken discusses if US would ever recognize Taliban government

Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Wednesday went on a charm offensive, saying the Taliban was to blame for the standoff and calling on the militants to allow the charter flights to depart from Afghanistan. 

Blinken said the United States was doing everything in its power to get the flights off the ground, but the Taliban was not permitting the flights to depart.

‘We’ve made clear to all parties, we’ve made clear to the Taliban that these charters need to be able to depart,’ Blinken said at a press conference in Germany.

The remarks came as Blinken met with Afghan refugees at the Ramstein Air Base in Germany. He also met with German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas as the two counterparts discussed cooperation in efforts to process and resettle Afghan refugees. 

The two will hold a virtual 20-nation meeting on the crisis from the southwestern German U.S. Air Base.

The administration still insists there are only around 100 Americans left to be evacuated, while volunteer groups leading private evacuation efforts and Republicans claim there are more like 500 U.S. citizens still trying to get out.

Six planes chartered to evacuate Americans and allies from Afghanistan were blocked from leaving by the Taliban, it emerged over the weekend.

Blinken speaks to members of the US embassy and Mission Afghanistan in the Qatari capital Doha on Tuesday. Blinken blamed the Taliban for blocking charter flights

The de-facto ruler of Afghanistan, Taliban co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, is seen in a file photo

The de-facto ruler of Afghanistan, Taliban co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, is seen in a file photo

The State Department also refused to green light privately chartered flights out of Afghanistan that could have evacuated US citizens and Afghan special immigrant visa applicants, leaked emails reportedly show. 

The Department of Homeland Security says about 60,000 people have arrived in the US since August 17 from Afghanistan as part of the evacuation formally known as Operation Allies Welcome.

DHS said in the latest updated released Wednesday that 17 percent of those arrivals are U.S. citizens and permanent residents who were in Afghanistan when the government there fell to the Taliban.

The remaining 83 percent are a mix of people. They include those with Special Immigrant Visas, for people who worked as interpreters or in some other capacity for the U.S. or NATO. 

There are also other visa holders as well as applicants for visas who have not yet completed their processing. The remainder are various types of ‘vulnerable’ Afghans who would be threatened under the Taliban, such as women and human rights advocates.

DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas says a small number of evacuees have been prevented from entering the U.S. through ‘multi-layered’ security vetting but he declined to provide specific numbers of provide details about the cases. 

China, on September 8, said the new interim administration announced by the Taliban has put an end to “anarchy” in Afghanistan, terming it as a “necessary step” to restore order, even as it reiterated its stand that the Afghan militant group should form a broad-based political structure and follow moderate and prudent domestic and foreign policies.

On September 7, the Taliban unveiled a hardline interim government led by Mullah Mohammad Hasan Akhund, with key roles being shared by high-profile members of the insurgent group, including a specially designated global terrorist of the dreaded Haqqani Network as the interior minister.

“We pay attention to the formation of the government,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told a media briefing in Beijing, responding to a question on the interim government announced by the Taliban in Kabul.

“This has put an end to the anarchy in Afghanistan after over three weeks and the necessary step for Afghanistan to restore domestic order and pursue the post war reconstruction,” he said.

“We noticed that the Afghan Taliban said that the interim government has formed to restore social and economic order as soon as possible.”

Mr. Wang, however, reiterated China’s stand that the Taliban should establish a broad based and inclusive political structure.

“We hope Afghanistan will establish a broadly based, inclusive political structure, follow moderate and prudent domestic and foreign policies, resolutely combat all types of terrorist forces and live in good terms with other countries, especially its neighbours.”

Asked whether China would recognise the new administration, considering that Beijing has been calling for an “open and inclusive” government, Mr. Wang replied that the Chinese embassy is still operating in Afghanistan.

“We are ready to maintain communication with the new government in Afghanistan and leaders.”

“We hope the new Afghan administration in the capacity of interim government will broadly solicit the opinions of all ethnic groups and factions and echo the expectations of Afghan people and aspiration of the international community,” he said, adding that China has taken note of the Taliban’s comment that all people will benefit from the new administration.

China, along with Pakistan and Russia, has kept its embassy open in Kabul and its envoy has met the top officials of Taliban after it seized power last month.

A Taliban delegation headed by its senior leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar had visited China in July this year and held talks with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.


4 thoughts on “Biden administration worried Taliban isn’t diverse enough

  1. Why has the US been making a mess of everything over the last few decades, with its last apparent success way back in 1945 when it incinerated Japan with fire bombings of Tokyo and the atom options over Hiroshima and Nagasaki? The world would applaud if the US could now stop making a fool of itself.

    My friend So(u)lAmigo, who’s an astrologer of long standing (practicing mainly for self-knowledge purposes) and a keen observer (to a limit) of world trends and cycles of history, says the US is in its death throes as the last bastion of (rugged) individualism.

    Because we are now on the threshold of the entry into the Aquarian Age, where the rights and power of the individual will go begging — the signature event, when the line marking the point of no return was crossed, being the very rare Saturn-Pluto Conjunction in Capricorn, the Sign of the home of laissez-faire capitalism and the ethos of the corporate elite … while the Conjunction qualified the nature of the time as a highly challenging and stressful passage that must course ‘between a rock and a hard place.’

    My friend said, but I also knew, though I’m the lesser astrologer, that the first of the four strongest days of that astronomical event was 9th January 2020, the very day the Beijing government announced the presence of the coronavirus in Wuhan city and environs. We don’t really need Astrology to interpret this great coincidence, do we?

    What is less known in most of the world is that the same Conjunction of Saturn-Pluto occurred the very year Hernan Cortez landed off the east coast of the Yucatán Peninsula in the New World and gradually thereafter proceeded to do in the grand civilization of the Maya and then that of the Aztec, thereby bringing the conquering Spanish influence into Central America, all of Mexico and right up into southern US, while contributing to its spread in the opposite direction into South America. In other words, the meaning of this particular Conjunction in Capricorn was also that of great irreversible Civilizational Change. The same Conjunction has occurred only 4 times over the last 2,000 years, as such change need not occur so frequently.

    Friend So(u)lAmigo is of the opinion that the current change is about a greater Collective bringing the power of the masses to bear down on status of the Individual, to crowd, isolate and trap the latter in a restricted corner with no avenue of escape.

    This unprecedented shift was foreshadowed on 21st December 2012, by the ending of the last of the five great cycles of 5,000+ years of the Mayan calendar, which totaled approximately 25,800 years. In January 2020, Saturn conjoining Pluto in Capricorn (as appearing from Earth) signaled the Aquarian flowering of the multitudes as presently epitomized by the People’s Republic of China, with its clear example of bullying and menacing of the Republic of China (Taiwan), which lacks the territory and the 1.4 billion of the former’s People.

    And we know now that the PRC will be the main source of funds for the new Taliban government in Afghanistan (thus depriving the US of the leverage it thought it could use to lessen the harshness of the Taliban’s future rule). The PRC prevailing over the ROC parallels the browbeating, in our pandemic times, of an un-vaxxed minority by the successfully vaxxed majority — not a pretty picture.

    Including in Afghanistan, the world over is witnessing a rare historical event, the line for which was crossed in January 2021 … in other words, in the lifetime of the readers of Robin’s blog. Contingency planning has to be the order of the day.

    1. Error, for which there seems to have been a reason… and its correction: the year ‘2021’ in last paragraph should be ‘2020.’

      Now, a chance to explain ‘a rare historical event’: my friend says, for momentous events, there’s always a foreshadowing, the entry and crossover, and then the aftershadow, or aftermath. The entry and crossover into ‘Civilizational Change’ could be a fairly extended period, characterized by a fractious energy, like being in a ‘tumbler.’ This could be felt by the hour, anytime, anywhere… for instance, in one’s own home, followed by some respite. Definitely on telecommunication devices.

      My friend is a good way into a book, put aside for the moment, as it totals 1,368 pages. Not enough time to get everything done, hard to keep up, he says.

      The title: *The Great War For Civilization: The Conquest For The Middle East* by the late Robert Fisk, a fine, prolific journalist, recently deceased. Afghanistan figures large in the discourse, and Fisk had interviewed Osama bin Laden many times. By an interesting coincidence, here today, it happens to be the 11th of September, exactly 10 years after 9/11.

      Suffice to say, Afghanistan had long been a battleground before Alexander the Great trekked there with his troops, and that means well before the formation of Islam following Muhammad (570-632 AD). Within the broad sweep of Afghanistan’s history, the relatively recent Taliban represent an extreme distillation of a form of Islamic puritanism.

      Now that they finally rule the country, will they change a little for the purpose of greater
      ambitions? For that they will have to!

      Time to launch this; soon it’ll be 11 AM.

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