Issued by CEMO Center - Paris
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Taliban turns to foreign bases to end economic crisis in Afghanistan

Thursday 09/March/2023 - 01:18 PM
The Reference
Nahla Abdelmonem

The Taliban government in Afghanistan has revealed its intention to turn international military bases in Afghanistan into special economic zones.

The Afghan Ministry of Industry and Trade would control the remaining military bases of foreign forces in the country to turn them into economic zones, according to Deputy Prime Minister in Charge of Economic Affairs, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar.

He said on February 19 that the implementation of the project would begin in Kabul, and the northern province of Balkh.

This demonstrates the emergence of a new policy of the Taliban, through which it seeks to find a solution to the economic crisis it is experiencing.

The crisis has negatively affected the living conditions of the Afghan people.

Economic crisis

Afghanistan is experiencing a violent economic crisis, the extent of which is compounded by US decisions to keep freezing the country's balances in foreign banks, as well as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund's reticence to cooperate with the Taliban government due to widespread international rejection to recognize it.

International reluctance to recognize the Taliban government hinders fair economic cooperation with the country, and poses broader challenges for the movement's government to manage the interests of the country and achieve material and strategic benefits in a polarized world.

Economic instability and the inability of the government to meet the basic needs of the people contribute to fuelling chaos in the country.

This unrest is especially manifest in unstable Afghan regions that do not have well-established legal institutions.

Taliban ideology

The controversy over the international recognition of the Taliban government is increasing as a result of its hard-line policy towards women, in contrast to the media pledges of the Taliban leaders to give women their rights.

In the past few months, the movement passed several decisions that harmed Afghan women, most notably denying girls the right to enter university indefinitely under the pretext of reviewing curricula and making sure that they are free from violations of Islamic law.

Some Taliban leaders also spoke against women who do not wear the Islamic head cover or those who mingle with men.

The movement also decided to deprive girls of studying some specialties, such as media, journalism and civil engineering, and limited their educational specialties to medical and literary fields, which in itself is a sparing on their right to education, doubled by the decision to prevent them from attending university.

One of the provocative decisions of the Taliban against Afghan women was to ban them from hiking except with schedules predetermined by the movement, while preventing them from going to sports clubs and other recreational areas.


Michael Kugelman, deputy director of the Asia Programme and Senior Associate for South Asia at the Wilson Centre for International Studies in Washington, said Western countries would need real guarantees to recognize the Taliban government.

"However, the crisis of the women's file will hinder the recognition of the movement, and then the economic situation will worsen," he told The Reference.

He pointed out that security control is a challenge for the Taliban in the light of the presence of ISISI, which represents a direct threat to the movement.

Kugelman added that ISIS had been in Afghanistan for years, and continues to carry out violent attacks since the departure of US troops.