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Afghanistan people fear for their lives and freedom as last US plane leaves

The last plane of US troops has left Kabul, leaving the Taliban with complete control over the people of Afghanistan.

The last flight left yesterday from Kabul Airport carrying more than 120,000 people, with headlines around the world announcing that “the war is over“.

However, the people of Afghanistan have been left to salvage what they can from the lives they built over the last 20 years free of the Taliban.

Taliban victory Afghanistan
Image: AP/Khwaja Tawfiq Sediqi

We understand that the West dealt with the Taliban, but as Afghan women we [cannot] forgive them unless they put the maximum pressure on Taliban to respect civil rights,” said a young Kabul student to the ABC.

I am afraid. I feel very depressed.”

The Taliban have promised life under their rule will be different for women this time.

Our sisters, our men have the same rights,” said Taliban spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid.

They are going to be working with us, shoulder to shoulder with us.”

The Kabul student, who wishes to remain anonymous, said there were already verbal threats on the streets that there would be more violence if “the world wasn’t watching“.

Restrictions have also been imposed on science in Afghanistan under Taliban rule.

According to Nature, billions of dollars in overseas finance for Afghanistan’s government have been frozen, including assets held by the US Federal Reserve and credit from the International Monetary Fund.

Since 2004, the World Bank, and other international organizations, have contributed millions in funding for teaching, faculty training and research in Afghanistan. However, that has all now come to a stand still. According to Kenneth Holland, former president of the American University of Afghanistan (AUAF), the frozen funding will seriously affect universities and researchers.

The Taliban have further enforced their reign over the freedom of Afghanistan’s people.

According to multiple reports, folk-singer Fawad Andarabi was shot dead after Taliban officials also announced a ban on playing music in public.

Zabihullah Mujahid told the New York Times in a recent interview that music is “un-Islamic”.

Music is forbidden in Islam, but we’re hoping that we can persuade people not to do such things, instead of pressuring them.”

On August 30, the UN Security Council passed a resolution that called for the Taliban “to facilitate safe passage for people wanting to leave Afghanistan, allow humanitarians to access the country and uphold human rights, including for women and children“.

According to the ABC, Dr Omar Sadr, Professor of political science at the American University of Kabul, said the problem would be trying to hold the Taliban to account now that they were celebrating defeating the US and its allies.

Their view is they have won this war and now the international community will not have any leverage to change their minds or their decisions,” he said.

This is a fully fledged human catastrophe.”