UN Deputy Chief accused of betraying women in Afghanistan over Taliban recognition

The UN Deputy Secretary General, Amina Mohammed, said on Monday that the organisation plans to hold a meeting to discuss the possibility of granting “Taliban recognition,” which has led to a wave of reactions from journalists, human rights defenders, and women’s rights activists.

According to VOANews, Amina Mohammed said that the Taliban’s desire for recognition is an opportunity for leverage that the international community has.

The meeting, according to Amina Mohammed, which will be attended by the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, and envoys from different countries is set to take place in two weeks’ time.

Rahmatullah Nabil, the former Afghan spy chief, responded to Mohammad’s statement, saying that the proposal to recognize the Taliban as Afghanistan’s legitimate government is alarming. “It sends a message that human rights abuse and support for terrorism will be rewarded.”

“Recognition of the Taliban as the legitimate government of Afghanistan is a betrayal of Afghan women and minorities who have suffered under their rule. It is crucial that any recognition is contingent on the Taliban respecting basic human rights,” Nabil added.

The “Women’s Movement for Peace and Freedom,” a group of women’s rights activists, also expressed their opposition to Mohammad’s announcement. The group stated that the UN’s attempt to recognize the Taliban goes against human rights values and the organization’s mission while ignoring the basic rights of all women in Afghanistan.

Ali Maisam Nazari, the head of Foreign Relations of the armed anti-Taliban group, the National Resistance Front (NRF) echoed the group’s sentiment, calling the move an insult and betrayal to Afghanistan’s resilient people. “Recognizing a terrorist and criminal organization as Afghanistan’s government is an insult and betrayal to its resilient people. The International Community must stand united with Afghanistan and oppose any attempt to legitimize a terrorist group. We, the people of Afghanistan, will never accept this and will resist as long as it takes.”

Nilofar Ayoubi, a journalist, expressed disappointment in Mohammad’s statement, stating, “It is so heartbreaking and infuriating to see a woman breaking Afghan women’s trust and call for the recognition of their oppressors.”

Sami Yousafzai, a journalist, raised his concern over Amina Mohammed’s statement and said; “Taliban is a geopolitical reality but Taliban harsh policies and restrictions on women unforgivable and no-ignorable for world community”

Meanwhile, Zarifa Ghaffari, the former mayor of Maidan Wardak, urged the UN and Mohammad to clarify their position towards Afghanistan. “Miss. Amina J. Mohammed if you guys are incapable of performing your own duties, and if your organization UN is not capable of serving human values so that’s all your problem. Remember; you’re not allowed to sell us for your loss!”.

Early in April, the Taliban extended the ban on women’s right to work to the UN, which has resulted in the organisation threatening to leave the country unless the group’s reverses its decision. The Taliban has rejected the calls, with its spokesperson says it was Afghanistan’s “internal issue”.