Using military gains as leverage, the Taliban militia has met with high-level officials in France, the US and other countries to press for recognition as Afghanistan’s ruling government. The US has continued to withhold recognition because of the Taliban’s support of bin Laden, the regime’s rampant terrorism throughout Afghanistan, and the Taliban’s horrific violations of human rights. In last week’s meeting between US State Department officials and representatives from the Taliban, talks included pressure from the US regarding the Taliban’s treatment of women and girls in Afghanistan, specifically the ban on women and girls’ employment and education.
The Taliban’s gains of territory in Afghanistan are a result of additional support from Pakistan. A joint venture between the Taliban and Pakistan’s government has put leaders of neighboring countries, including India and Russia, on guard, fearing the partnership could reshape the politics of Central Asia.