RAWA News, November 30, 2021
A Glimpse Over Herat, Under Taliban’s Medieval Reign
The Taliban have decided to turn schools into brainwashing and suicide attacks centers just like Pakistani dormitories
After the infamous Doha agreement between the United States and the Taliban led by Zalmai ‘Zalilzad’, we witnessed that most parts of Afghanistan were handed over to the Taliban within a few weeks and all of Herat’s districts were no exception, including Qala-e-Islam port. The illusional war and the government’s delusive pretense of the so-called “defense”, lasted only two weeks in the outskirts of the city. The warlord Ismail Khan was leading the war, which was nothing but deception of the people, and on the day of Herat’s fall, according to the previous plan, everyone fled and the city was captured with the least resistance and no war in a few hours.
Those who were deceived by such images of Ismail Khan on social media thought the Taliban would be retreated.
A few days after the Taliban took control, when I went to the city, I found out that most of Ismail Khan's fighters were unemployed, hired laborers who had been told to fight for 5,000 Afghanis (60-70 dollars), and that whatever booty you found was yours. Before fleeing, all those laborers who had already expired and useless were disarmed and told to return to their homes.
A resident of the city says about the situation in Herat in those days:
"The number of Taliban fighters was very small and most of them were recruited from the refugees of Ghor and Badghis provinces who lived in the Shaydayi area. A week later, when I went inside the city, you could not find any Talib. There were only a few people in government offices and the city was empty. If 500 troops were equipped, they could have captured the city, but it was the US wish to return the power to the Taliban."
Another person from Tobarian village of Injil district says:
"In the days when the war started in Panjshir, the Taliban district governor came to our mosque and ordered that you should provide us 20 young people every month to send to the Panjshir war to wage jihad. In those days, we heard that the Pakistan government, at the behest of the United States, had bombed Panjshir in the dark of night which caused a massacre of the people. It was clear that the corrupt and looting leaders of the so-called Resistance Front were alive and well, but the poor people suffered the loss of life and property."
After capturing Panjshir, and Amrullah Saleh and Ahmad Massoud fleeing to Tajikistan, the number of Taliban in Herat also increased, and within a few days all the heads of government departments were replaced by mullahs, none of whom were even acquainted with the principles of administration.
All over the country, with the entry of the Taliban into the cities, all government and banking systems collapsed and the country went into crisis, and the city of Herat, which is one of the commercial cities of Afghanistan, also fell. Since Herat has been the cradle of civilization and culture and has always nurtured countless scientists and cultural figures in its arms, the people of this city, with the initiative and resistance of women, protested and held several demonstrations in front of the provincial capital to defend their rights and raise their voice. Since the Taliban did not want the protesters to be heard, they started to arrest and beat the protesters and confiscated their video recording cameras. At a rally near the provincial capital, the Taliban opened fire on a crowd of protesters and went over some with their vehicles, killing several people and wounding several others. But to prevent the news from spreading, they collected all the mobile phones of the people, including the local shopkeepers, and deleted the videos.
On September 8, 2021, the Taliban opened fire on a teachers’ protest, killing Bashir Ahmad Afsari and Omid Sharifi, and wounded several others. But they passed by this crime so coldly that it seemed as if they had killed some insects.
In the so-called "peace" talks in Doha, Fawzia Kofi and other stagy women argued that "the Taliban has changed and do not possess the ideas of the past," but on the contrary, since the Taliban is a mercenary and dependent force, it simply acts on its master's command.
During the first days, several individuals were accused on charges of theft and displayed on the streets with blackened faces, and then four people were hanged under the name of "abductors" inside the city in four different places (Mustoofiat Square, Gulha Square, Malik Gate and Kandahar Gate) and the people seeing this were horrified and convinced that the disasters of the first period rule of these criminals were on their way. A tricycle driver in Herat, Feroz Agha, who witnessed the scene, stated:
"I am just terrified that in the 21st century there is still a country where such terrors are happening. We have been driven back centuries and it will take years for our country to be emancipated again. Seeing the behavior of the Taliban, I have become convinced that this Stone Age group has never been reformed or changed and that they would maintain their reign by creating fear and fright among the people."
Although our people suffered from poverty and unemployment during the corrupt and puppet regime of Ghani-Abdullah, but with the rise of the Taliban, the country's economy collapsed and most government and private employees lost their jobs. With the huge number of unemployment and the increasing poverty and high prices, theft and armed robberies have also increased. The queue of the unemployed people is getting longer every day, and when you enter the city, it seems that as the city has lost its soul and there are starving, wandering and hopeless people sitting on both sides of all the streets, so that if a passerby bestows a loaf of bread!
Ahmad Shah, a daily wager, talks about the difficulties of his life:
"There are eight of us in the family, our house is in Nawabad and every morning with my wheelbarrow I come to ‘Qul-e-Urdu’ area that if someone has something for me to move somewhere and every night around 7 or 8 o’clock I return home, on foot which is a two hours distance, and mostly I never find any work and return empty-handed and we all fall asleep hungry, our house rent which is 500 Afghanis, it has been eight months that I wasn’t able to pay it, and the owner of the house, when assured we have absolutely nothing to eat, never asked again, bless him."
Abdul Hakim, a day laborer on the street, speaks of his days:
"My job is to fill cars with gravel, but at the moment no one is building a house that would need that. We sit on the street day to night and wait for someone to come and buy gravel so we could fill it, but there is no one. Today, after many days, we filled a car and they gave me 100 Afghanis, but I wonder what urgent necessities I can buy at this price with 100 Afghanis, not even dry bread."
The dramatic rise in food prices in the country has doubled poverty. If we take a look at the prices of some basic items in the city of Herat, we find that the people are in a miserable situation: gas used to be 40 Afghanis per kilo, now 90 Afghanis; petrol per liter used to be 30 Afghanis, currently 80 Afghanis; a 50-kilogram bag of flour used to be 1,600 Afghanis, currently 2,300 Afghanis; a barrel of 3-kilogram cooking oil was 190 and now sold for 530 Afghanis; while no one is responsible and only the people bear this burden.
I asked Rasool, who sells chicken, about his sales these days:
"Believe me, I used to sell about 80-100 kilos of chicken a day, but now, because no one can afford to buy chicken, I sell 20-30 kilos of chicken a day, which doesn’t even meet our shop’s rent. We also have to close our shop, but what else can we do? There is nothing else to do. May god destroy and annihilate the Taliban who made us more devastated and miserable."
Another serious problem which is an ominous legacy of twenty years of US and NATO occupation and mafia rule is the large number of addicts, whose numbers are increasing as poverty and unemployment escalate. All the streets of the city are filled with addicts and of course the Taliban have no solution for this social disease. In some cases, they are beaten and transferred to various centers and tortured. A friend said to me that the Taliban have told addicts to either quit or die!
With the ending of foreign aid, which after the looting of donors and government authorities, a small part of which was spent on the health and treatment of the people of Herat, the health sector suffered an irreparable damage and most private clinics were closed. Hundreds of doctors and nurses have lost their jobs and turned to peddling and daily laborers due to unpaid salaries. Since private clinics are either closed or short on personnel or people cannot afford to pay the fee, all patients rush to public hospitals, where patients’ do not have a place to stay, spending days and nights in the hospital yard.As the backbone of a society is an educated generation that raises awareness among the people and plays a vital role in the development of the society, the Taliban, these servants of the United States and Pakistan are trying to paralyze the country's education system and completely change the curriculum of schools and universities. More importantly, they want to deprive half of the country's population, which is women, of education, because they know that if women become aware of a society and rise up, no force can stop their progress and growth. While in the same short period of time, the brave protests of women that has robbed Taliban of their sleep, they used force and pressure against them and imposed restrictions on initiating demonstrations.
The Taliban have decided to turn schools into brainwashing and suicide attacks centers just like Pakistani dormitories, so they have closed girls' schools and there are no classes for boys. A number of teachers were forced to peddling in the city markets due to lack of salaries, and some fled to Iran. The situation of Tobarian High School, which is located in one of the villages of Injil District, shows this situation. This school has 8 teachers, most of whom are mullahs and teach religious studies and the Qur'an, so it is clear that there is no sign of natural sciences and scientific subjects. Most children drop out of school after the fourth or fifth year and move on to other jobs. In the first grade, 40 to 50 students enroll, but in the twelfth grade, 5 to 8 students graduate. When I asked the reason for this, Ehsan, one of the tenth-grade students, said:
"In our village, they are not interested in education because of the students do not have good and professional teachers, and the parents of the students, after five or six years, when they see that their children have not learned anything, remove them from school and tell them to at least work and help with household expenses. Most 13- to 15-year-old boys immigrate to Iran and work as laborers, many of whom have recently returned from Iran addicted."
It is obvious that universities are not in a better position. The Taliban did not allow the reopening of the universities, so a large number of professors and academic staff fled the university due to unrest and, more importantly, opposition to the system and the way of governing of the Taliban. In addition, most students at Herat University have dropped out and are no longer interested in studying under the medieval Taliban because they see no hope for a future in Taliban rule. "N", a fourth-year student of Herat University Administration and Policy, states with disappointment:
"It was two months left for my graduation that these savage Taliban arrived. Before that, I had dreamed of finding a job for myself and living my life after graduation, but now, despite my misery and wretchedness, there is no hope for life. From now on, there is no place for us to work and currently there isn’t even labor work. I wonder what to do?"
The Iranian government, which has been active in the cultural sector and has trained a variety of cheap servants, is currently welcoming the Taliban and making huge profits from the situation in Afghanistan. The smallest and simplest example of these is the reflow of Afghan rivers towards Iran soil. Although all embassies and consulates of other countries are closed, the Iranian consulate has been active and collecting the young generation and sending them to Iran. In this regard, Hamed, one of the first-year students of Herat University, said:
"Iran provides all Afghan students in public or private universities with the opportunity to study in Iran at any university they want, and even a student can take his family with him and settle down. Worker visas are valid for several months, but student visas are available much sooner and for longer stays.
Most of the students at Herat University who have the financial means have now obtained Iranian student visas and are going there, where they mostly study for 200 dollars a semester, which is a great torture for the people of Afghanistan."
In addition, a huge number of families have migrated to Iran. People sell all their belongings and property and give a lot of money to the smugglers and go to Iran out of compulsion to at least survive and inevitably accept any humiliation and insult from the Iranian officers and smugglers.
Abdul Hakim, a 70-year-old worker who spent much of his life migrating and working in Iran and is an eyewitness to the massacre of Afghan refugees in the Safed Sang camp in Iran, claims:
"I am currently sitting on the ‘Qul-e-Urdu’ road from 5 am to 5 pm, filling the dirt in cars. Today I filled a dirt car and worked for 100 Afghanis. Some days are good, but most days there is nothing to do and I am unemployed. Again, immigration to Iran is the worst mistake. If we die of starvation in our homeland, it would be better for us than to immigrate to Iran and suffer the pain of humiliation."
On November 25, 2021, the Taliban shot and killed Dr. Amruddin in his car.
This year, in addition to the Talib calamity, natural disasters have also plagued our people. Drought in most parts of Afghanistan has multiplied poverty and food prices. A large number of people from Ghor and Badghis have migrated to Herat, with depressed and distressed faces, with no place to take refuge, and are looking for a piece of bread and a pair of clothing. These unfortunate people, who have been displaced from their homes, spend their nights in poverty and misery in every part of the city, along the public road and four-walled houses with no roof.
Bibi Mahro, an immigrant woman from Ghor, says:
"We have been wandering in Herat for weeks. We sleep in one street for a few nights and in another street for another few nights and beg for a few days for dry bread to give to our children, but if we do not find shelter by winter, we will surely lose our children due to the cold."
Rasool, another immigrant, said:
"I planted wheat this year, but it didn't work out because of the drought, and when we wanted to harvest the wheat, I rented it to someone else for 60 mun (5/7 kgs). When I grinded the wheat by the cow and weighed it, It became 61 mun, and after a year of hard work, only one mun of wheat was what I earned. Finally, we were forced to come to Herat out of hunger, so that we might survive on begging or daily wages."
These are brief examples of the current situation in the city of Herat. Perhaps this is an example from all over Afghanistan, which is still in the grip of insecurity, poverty and uncertainty, and is being held captive by creatures of the middle ages and foreign mercenaries whose main concerns are the hijab of women, the beards of men, and opposition to science and truth. They cannot expect the slightest change in the direction of economic growth and welfare of the people.
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