WASHINGTON: Confidence among US authorities is waning that the Taliban will reverse course and allow women and girls in Afghanistan to pursue education or take action to improve the overall human rights situation in the country, according to Rina Amiri, l ‘US Special Envoy for Afghan Women, Girls and Human Rights.
During a briefing on Thursday, in the presence of Arab News, she said Washington is working to identify the key issues that are negatively impacting women and minority groups in the country.
“We are very disturbed by what we see as a coherent negative trajectory of the situation of women and human rights in Afghanistan,” said Amiri.
He added that the United States is concerned about the increase in attacks on minority groups in the country, including the Hazara, Hindu and Sikh communities. A Daesh-affiliated group claimed responsibility for an attack on a Sikh temple in Kabul last week, in which two people were killed and several injured.
Amiri said US authorities are looking for other ways to engage with the Afghan people and provide humanitarian aid, especially in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake that struck the mountainous regions in the east of the country in the early hours of Wednesday this week. More than 1,000 people were killed and hundreds of houses and other buildings were destroyed.
The Taliban government, subject to US sanctions since it regained control of the country in August last year following the withdrawal of US troops, has asked for international aid to deal with the humanitarian crisis caused by the earthquake. The UN pledged its full support to efforts to help victims and mobilized its agencies to provide assistance.
Amiri said the US sanctions imposed on the Taliban government are designed and balanced in a way that does not target women or other vulnerable groups in the country.
She added that after the Taliban took control of Afghanistan, they reneged on previous commitments to allow girls to go to school and get an education and to respect the human rights of all people in Afghanistan.
She attributed the most repressive measures directed against women to uncompromising elements within the leadership and said that most Afghans disagree with restrictions on women’s rights.
Taliban policies towards minorities are hampering the United States’ ability to help Afghanistan, Amiri said. However, she added, Washington has committed $ 127 million in humanitarian aid to the country’s population.
She said she visited Europe and the Gulf region to explore ways the United States could partner with other countries to help Afghan women and minority groups, and called on all nations to hold the Taliban accountable for the plight of women. women in their country.
“The situation in Afghanistan is the worst in the world when it comes to women’s rights,” added Amiri.