After pledging to be a new better version of themselves to gullible diplomats, the Taliban-Haqqani regime are showing all their true colors. After whitewashing the Taliban-Haqqani network for years, telling the world they have changed—the pundits, scholars, and researchers are now silent. After seven months of diplomatic meetings with nations and international organizations, the Taliban-Haqqani terrorists have stopped trying to gain respect and gone back to what they know best—brutality, ignorance, and cruelty.

Some say it’s the same old Taliban, but in fact, it is worse. They are more diplomatically savvy and have the support of more nations, both publicly and privately. The illegal Taliban-Haqqani occupiers are tightening their security grip on Afghanistan by confiscating weapons, openly training terrorist forces in police and army camps, and killing any opposition.

Just how bad are the Taliban-Haqqani edicts this time?

Let’s take a look at what the Taliban-Haqqani terror regime has banned so far—what some are calling “Tali-Bans.”

They started with the removal and banning of the black, red, and green national flag. It was replaced with the Taliban flag and painted over in many places. Then they went after advertising, murals, art and even store-window displays. Their main target were human images, especially images of women.

Next the TB-HQ regime closed schools for girls and boys, and young adults. They retooled the curriculum to enhance the so called “jihadi” values of the Taliban. They targeted languages on government and private buildings, trying to erase some of the many languages spoken in Afghanistan for centuries. This is a reverse of the dual use of Dari and Pashto in the public space.

In the schools the extreme religious patrol of the regime fretted over uniforms (mostly for women), how boys and girls would sit in a classroom together, and even how male teachers could assist and mentor female students. After over seven months of debate the Taliban-Haqqani terrorists couldn’t decide on many of the issues and when girls showed up to start school, they were turned away in tears.

Going right back to the old Taliban playbook, the Taliban vice and virtue thugs began to restrict how men dressed and groomed themselves. Now entry into certain places is being denied to men if they do not have a long beard, wear loose clothing, or a hat/turban. This immediately hit government workers as the Taliban thugs patrolled building entrances to enforce the mandate and warn them of the risk of being fired.

Women are being required again to have an appropriate male chaperone to go into government buildings. The same requirement stands for women who seek to travel or fly.

Even fresh air and exercise is being controlled by the occupying terrorists as they impose their foreign ideas on Afghan society. Public parks, a traditional family venue, are now being segregated by gender. Men have use four days per week, while women can dare to tread the grass on the other three days.

Afghans lost the right to a trial and saw an increase in no-warrant searches, kidnapping, and torture shortly after August 15th. The world watches as weekly summary executions are exposed.

Most recently the Taliban-Haqqani regime began to restrict the world from seeing Afghanistan and restricting Afghans from seeing the world. Afghan journalism has been severely limited to include closing vital TV and radio outlets. Foreign journalism and broadcasting are now also coming under the axe. VOA and BBC, foreign news outlets known for superb Pashto and Dari broadcasting, are now banned. Meanwhile China began funding a Taliban-Haqqani friendly “news” network to replace the might of Moby media group that has dominated Afghanistan free press since 2002.

The Taliban-Haqqani regime is intent on restricting as many human rights as possible in their quest for power and control. Afghans bristle at restrictions of freedoms, and these “Tali-Bans” will likely fuel anti-Taliban opposition groups. One thing is certain, the current diplomatic approaches are not targeting the center of gravity of Taliban-Haqqani power—their sponsors in the region.


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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.