In the midst of the shambles that overtook Afghanistan when US and NATO troops withdrew from the country on August 31st, 2021, the human rights of women and children were especially left hanging by a thread.
The terrorist Taliban which had previously controlled Afghanistan between 1996 and 2001 had enforced harsh conditions based on a strict interpretation of Islamic law. It has now regained control of the country.
Women under its previous authority had to cover themselves with the burka and only leave the house in the company of a male relative. It banned girls from attending school, and women from working outside the home. Women were banned from voting and were subjected to cruel punishments, such as beheadings or stoning to death in public executions for committing adultery.
However, during the 20 years that the allies remained in Afghanistan, the entire country, including women and children, flourished. The allied troops established schools, roads, bridges, irrigation systems, dam repairs, and tried to encourage a democratic form of government.
Taliban Insist It Has Changed
The Taliban now wants the world to believe that it has changed. This claim has been met with skepticism, based on the fact that the Taliban are now in the course of hunting down 67 female members of the former Afghan Parliament; removing female journalists and news broadcasters from employment, and tracking down female judges who are in hiding. In addition, women have been instructed by the Taliban to remain at home, for their own ‘safety’. Why is there no outcry from Canadian tax-funded-feminists in response to this debacle?
Canada’s Previous Contribution to Afghanistan
Canada provided military support to Afghanistan from 2001 to 2014. Our soldiers (158 of whom lost their lives in Afghanistan), served with competence and courage.
In addition, since 2001, Canada pumped $3.6 billion into Afghanistan to help stabilize the country.
Trudeau had Different Objectives
Justin Trudeau had little interest in stabilizing Afghanistan, and thought instead that Afghan women really needed to be educated on feminism. As a result, in the period between 2014 and 2020, Afghanistan was the top designation for Canadian aid dollars. During this period, Canada provided $966 million to Afghanistan, to focus on feminist issues only – such as gender equality and empowerment of women.
Global Affairs Canada reported a review of the policy on its website in December 2020, which concluded Canada’s attempt to provide gender equality in Afghanistan had caused problems, since it had not taken into consideration the culture and Islamic traditions of the country.
Canada’s Failure in Withdrawing from Afghanistan
Canada had four and a half months’ notice, from April 2021 to August 31st, that the U.S. under President Biden’s direction would be withdrawing from Afghanistan. Canada did nothing about this until Afghanistan was on the brink of collapse. On July 29, 2021, Canada announced its “plan” to evacuate Canadian citizens and permanent residents, and other individuals, who had worked with Canadians, including interpreters, suppliers, contractors, drivers, cleaners, etc. before the Taliban took over.
Canada’s bungled plan was the worst among all the allies. Other countries flew helicopters into Kabul to rescue its citizens and supporters and fly them directly to the tarmac apron at Kabul’s airport where the planes were waiting. Canada insisted that all the individuals must make their own way to the airport. Those who did were turned away by the armed and hostile Taliban at the airport gates.
Ottawa also gave applicants only seventy-two hours (later extended) to assemble all the necessary documents for evacuation. This required filling out paperwork in English (not the first language for many), and find an internet connection and access a computer to forward the documents – an impossible task in the chaos. Other countries had the sense to get the evacuees out of the country first to a safe third country such as Germany, and then carry out the documentation there.
As a result, Canada left behind in Afghanistan 1,250 Canadian citizens and permanent residents, as well as thousands of Afghans and their families who helped the Canadian military and Canadian NGOs during the previous 20 years.
Canada is Humiliated
Canada’s bungled withdrawal from Afghanistan is humiliating. Canada’s incompetence has abandoned thousands of individuals, Trudeau however has continued with his election campaign, which is all about getting a majority in Parliament, with no concern for the innocent lives of others, whom he has failed.
The lives of many Afghans are in peril, especially women and children.