The civilized world watches in horror as the Taliban flogs women on the streets of Kabul with whips and cable wire, maims arrested journalists with truncheons and reinstates the Ministry of Virtue and Vice. The religious police that carried out executions, amputation, beheading and stoning to death of women that so disgusted the world in 1996 to 2001.
It is also no coincidence that Afghan men and women are protesting at Pakistan’s interference in the streets of Kabul and outside Pakistani embassies all over the world. Their chant of “marg bar Pakistan” (death to Pakistan in Dari) is an eloquent testament to their hatred of Islamabad’s 45 year track record of supporting the most regressive, primitive mullahs in Afghan society. Pakistan lost 70,000 lives when the Taliban offshoot TTP launched a war against the Pakistani state in Swat/North Waziristan.
For any rational person to celebrate the return of the Taliban regime in Kabul is an act of shamelessness and self delusion. Kabul has now replaced Raqqa in Syria, the capital of the defunct Daish caliphate as the epicentre of Jihadi terrorism whose sinister shadow has only meant mass death and tragedy for dozens of nations worldwide. No wonder Al Qaeda has publicly congratulated the new Taliban regime after all its members include the son and aides of the same Mullah Omar who once hosted Osama Bin Laden after he was expelled from Sudan and began his reign of terror against the West that culminated in the horror of 9/11.
I was attacked by many compatriots who agreed with Imran Khan’s idiotic conviction that the Taliban were a force for good in Afghanistan and thus deserved Pakistan’s support. The new Afghan government proves that Im the Dim justly deserves his nickname Taliban Khan.
The self-styled Emir is Mullah Akhundzada who ordered hundreds of beheadings in his role as the Taliban’s top jurist. The new Emir’s son was not an Oxbridge or Ivy League graduate but a suicide bomber who died storming a base in Helmut. The Interior Minister is a world class terrorist who is on the FBI’s most wanted list and a top warlord of the Haqqani Networks. Mullah Yaqoob, the Defence Minister is Mullah Omar’s son.
It is also no coincidence that the 34 members, all male, all Pashtun and all mullah éminence grise do not remotely represent the linguistic, ethnic, religious and gender diversity of the country they now hold hostage in their theocratic grip. If the Taliban model of governance and male fashion sweeps the world, I strongly recommend shorting Gillette shares on Wall Street for obvious reasons as to paraphrase Andy Grove, only the hirsute survive.
John Major is absolutely right, the US abandonment of the elected, secular Afghan government is as morally wrong as it is strategically insane. Taliban 2.0, like Taliban 1.0 retains its terrorist DNA and will turn Afghanistan into the Las Vegas of global terror. What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas but what happens in Talibanistan will not stay in Talibanistan.
Matein Khalid is Chief Investment Officer with Asas Capital