On August 15, 2021, the Taliban took power after signing the Doha agreement of the whole country, but their first policy was to take away the education rights for school girls and university female students. India, USA, Canada and other countries exited as quickly as they could from Afghan soil. As of today, it has been more than 500 days since the Taliban first banned school girls from their educational rights.
There are fresh calls for reinstating education for all females on social media by like-minded individuals who care, Afghan people inside the country, and by the international community. All these calls are seen by the Taliban as propaganda yet they explain the true reality of the expectations from them.
I personally admire the people of India and for their successes in Afghanistan under former President Karzai and Ashraf Ghani. When I visited Kabul, in 2017, my uncle and I discussed a peace proposal with the political department upon India’s acceptance of our meeting request. The meeting was good but was out of their scope at the time.
In the past, India has called for reinstating female education but nothing recent which shows that India is ignoring the issue. I believe there is a competitive opportunity for India to play here in terms of the situation in Turkey, and to be ahead of other countries that wants to play active role. I mention Turkey as an example because they have Turkish brand schools in Afghanistan. As of today, India’s government has yet to contribute the same way as Turkey or even take on a historic endeavour. Understandably, this is not to say that India hasn’t contributed meaningfully to other development sectors. In 2015, Prime Minister Modi celebrated the inauguration of Afghan parliament that India had paid for. Moreover, India held yoga classes at its compound in Kabul to share the love of mindfulness with everyone.
Last year, I visited Afghanistan again, this time I observed the situation to be more intensified and I was right at the centre of it all, this time, they announced a ban on university female students to not be allowed to study. This was the second time the Taliban announced ban on females having previously banned school girls.
While the security situation stabilizes inside the country, as I saw during my visit, but it is important to note that the protection of human rights which for 20 years the international community safeguarded should again be restored. Now, is a chance for India to help reinstate education for all females in Afghanistan – this is the right course of action at the right time.