U.S. State Department Says Taliban Unable To Govern

The Taliban have demonstrated that they unable to effectively govern, said U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia Alan Eastham. Eastham cited the Taliban’s refusal to address the needs of the Afghan people and the fact that the Taliban have not taken into account the wishes of the international community with respect to terrorism, narcotics, and protection of human rights. “We feel strongly that a country which discards half of its population, which rules out any productive role outside the home for half the population, the female half, is not doing itself much of a service,” Eastham said. “If you deny the ability of half of the population [to be] educated, you’re condemning the country to backwardness essentially. That is the point of dispute with the Taliban. It’s not a question of disputing their basic societal tenets or even debating Islam with them. It is that to become a country which participates in the world, Afghanistan needs its women. That is our point on human rights.” Eastham also cited the Taliban’s role in opium production and terrorism as further evidence of their inability to govern.

The Afghan people are currently living under a brutal system of gender apartheid and ethnic and cultural genocide, and the situation is further exacerbated by the region’s most severe drought, which has left thousands of people without adequate food, water, and shelter.

TAKE ACTION Urge the U.S. to devote emergency funds to help Afghan refugees and displaced persons.


NewHour with Jim Lehrer -- March 27, 2001

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