Earlier this week, Taliban officials in Afghanistan announced that they are dissolving five key departments, including the former US-backed government’s Human Rights Commission. Citing a financial crunch, these departments have been deemed “unnecessary”, as indicated by a Taliban official on Monday.
Last week, Afghanistan announced its first annual national budget since the Taliban took over in August 2021. The country faces a budget deficit of $501 million (44 billion Afghanis). Taliban government’s deputy spokesperson, Innamullah Samangani, said, “Because these departments were not deemed necessary and were not included in the budget, they have been dissolved.” He further indicated that this decision is “based on objective facts”, and that these departments can be restarted in the future “if needed”.
In addition to the country’s human rights body, they have also dissolved the High Council for National Reconciliation (HCNR), the National Security Council, as well as the commission which oversaw the implementation of the Afghan constitution.
Notably, the HCNR was headed by Afghanistan’s former government chief executive (powers similar to that of a Prime Minister) Dr Abdullah Abdullah. The department was in the midst of negotiating peace between the US-backed government of former President Ashraf Ghani and the Taliban.
While the Taliban ruled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001, they implemented a harsh version of Islamic rule on its citizens, including barring women from education, and the workforce. After the Taliban took over again in 2021, they assured the international community that they would be more moderate with their governance.
However, they are yet to restart education for older girls, and have issued a mandate for all women and girls to wear a veil. Additionally, women in Afghanistan also have to be accompanied by a male relative in public places, as per the Sharia law.