“LIFE HAS LOST ITS MEANING”
But for ordinary Afghans – especially women – the return of the Taliban has only increased hardships.
Initially, the Taliban promised a softer version of the harsh rule that characterised their first stint in power from 1996 to 2001.
But many restrictions have been imposed on women to comply with the movement’s austere vision of Islam.
Tens of thousands of girls have been shut out of secondary schools, while women have been barred from returning to many government jobs.
And in May, they were ordered to fully cover up in public, ideally with an all-encompassing burqa.
“From the day they have come, life has lost its meaning,” said Ogai Amail, a resident of Kabul.
“Everything has been snatched from us, they have entered even our personal space,” she said.
On Saturday, the Taliban fighters beat women protesters and fired guns into the air to disperse their rally in Kabul.
While Afghans acknowledge a decline in violence since the Taliban seized power, the humanitarian crisis has left many helpless.
“People coming to our shops are complaining so much of high prices that we shopkeepers have started hating ourselves,” said Noor Mohammad, a shopkeeper from Kandahar, the de facto power centre of the Taliban.
For Taliban fighters, however, the joy of victory overshadows the current economic crisis.
“We might be poor, we might be facing hardships, but the white flag of Islam will now fly high forever in Afghanistan”, said a fighter guarding a public park in Kabul.
Source: Channel News Asia