Afghanistan: Taliban sets its sights on drug addicts
13 January 2022 | 8:44 am
Afghanistan is the world's top producer of opium and the illegal drug trade has helped finance the ruling Taliban. Over the past decades, millions of Afghans have fallen into drug addiction. The Taliban now claim they want to eradicate the use of narcotics. When they were in power from 1996 to 2001, the fundamentalists had banned poppy cultivation. But the intervention of US-led troops in 2001 relaunched opium production. Today, it remains permitted and is even intensifying in a country on the brink of economic collapse. Our team on the ground reports.
India fears that a Taliban-controlled Afghanistan would benefit Pakistan. The government is trying to protect its strategic interests.
At least one person has been killed in an explosion in Kabul. The largely Shiite neighborhood has previously been targeted by attacks by the Islamic State-Khorasan group.
The Taliban government leader asked for international aid and access to about $10 billion in funds frozen after the insurgents took over the country in August. The UN is warning half the country could starve this winter.
By imposing new restrictions on the media and female actors, the Taliban have once again reaffirmed their misogynistic ideology, rights advocates have said.
Panjshir Valley became known as the last bastion of the anti-Taliban resistance as the militants swept to power in Afghanistan in August. But it was only a matter of weeks before Panjshir too would fall into Taliban control. Once a bustling hub of activity, Panjshir is now largely deserted. The few residents who have stayed are now under constant surveillance, and are struggling to survive amid a crippling economic crisis. Sonia Ghezali, Shahzaib Wahlah and Solène Chalvon Fioriti report.
The Taliban have promised to end the practice of young girls being sold off to pay debts. However, the Islamist fundamentalists have not clarified how they intend to implement the decree.
Human Rights Watch says that more than 100 former Afghan security personnel have disappeared or been killed by the Taliban since they came to power in August. The actual number could be much higher than that.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told the Foreign Affairs Committee that the previous presidency left Joe Biden little choice but to complete the withdrawal. Republicans called it "an unmitigated disaster."
For almost a decade, international forces in Mali have been trying to help fight Islamist groups that threatened to take over the country in 2012. But today, the government still only controls the capital and a small area around it. DW's Fred Muvunyi reports.
Around 5,000 people every day are crossing the border from Afghanistan into Iran. While Tehran is deporting thousands every week, many are still setting out on the perilous journey that often begins in the city of Herat.
The assault on police officers guarding a polio vaccination team took place a day after the militants had called an end to their truce with the Pakistani government.
More Afghans facing extreme poverty are turning to opium production as a means of survival. Despite promises to the contrary, the Taliban are unlikely to oppose cultivation of the narcotic cash crop.
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