As the Afghan winter blankets the country with ice and snow, things are becoming bleaker for Afghans under the Taliban-Haqqani terrorist network. Starvation cases are rising, extrajudicial killings continue, and the regime seems more focused on international recognition than governing.

In the last couple of weeks, videos and photos have appeared of the Taliban-Haqqani regime banning advertising images of humans, calling for mannequins to be removed, and in their latest twisted directive, to behead the mannequins. The Taliban’s twisted views on Islam and the human form continue to drive them to the ridiculous.

Afghans are not laughing though. Beyond the videos that make it to the outside world, more murders and kidnappings of former Republic supporters and government members continue out of sight. The Taliban have clamped down on the media and access by outside journalists. This makes the reporting very slanted and sparse. Terrorists will make use of this press control to continue to take revenge and exert their barbaric power.

The winter cold is adding to the misery of Afghans as they struggle to find food, shelter, and heat. The medical system is also collapsing with a lack of personnel, medicine, funding, and electricity. The humanitarian crisis is striking as Covid variant cases explode around the globe. Most nations are simply not paying attention to the plight of Afghans, and it is unclear just how disastrous the next few months will be for Afghanistan.

On top of the violence and lack of caring for the most at-risk citizens of Afghanistan, the Taliban-Haqqani fighters have continued to take “justice” into their own hands across the country. Taliban are stopping vehicles to assess beard lengths of men and to harass women about being outside the home without a Taliban-approved guardian. Videos are also surfacing of Taliban thugs shaving the heads of men for sport or punishment of minor crimes. The Taliban-Haqqani terrorists seem to revel in humiliating Afghans across the country.

Also, this week the Taliban regime has tried to make a show of their removal of parts of the fencing on the Durand Line Border with Pakistan. The Pakistani military is now stating that 95% of the fencing along the border is complete. Taliban regime members say they are working diplomatically with Pakistan to resolve the fencing issue. The Afghan recognition of the Durand Line as their border with their neighbor is a key ask of the Pakistani government of the Taliban. It remains to be seen if the Taliban have agreed quietly to allow the border to take effect without publicly saying they have accepted it. The border is one of the largest thorns in the side of the Afghan-Pakistan relationship.

As the weather and Taliban-Haqqani cruelty take their toll on the bodies and souls of Afghans, many are dismayed by the current response by the world to this madness. Many have lobbied for decades for the world to sanction Pakistan for supporting terrorism in order to shut down the Taliban-Haqqani terrorist factories and end their quest to rule Afghanistan. Instead of sanctioning Pakistan, the world is now punishing all Afghans because the illegal rulers in Kabul are under international sanctions for terrorism. Pakistan has escaped all punishment for decades of terrorism support, while nearly 40 million Afghans suffer under the yoke of terrorists. This reversal of justice is not lost on Afghans.

 

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Jason spent 23 years in USG service conducting defense, diplomacy, intelligence, and education missions globally. Now he teaches, writes, podcasts, and speaks publicly about Islam, foreign affairs, and national security. He is a member of the Military Writers Guild, works with numerous non-profits and aids conflict resolution in Afghanistan.