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US revokes Taliban designation of Afghanistan as key non-NATO ally

More than a year after the Taliban overthrew the democratically elected government in Kabul, the United States rescinded the designation of Afghanistan as a major non-NATO ally.

The United States designated Afghanistan as a major non-NATO ally in July 2012, which paved the way for both sides to maintain economic and defense ties. It has also assisted Kabul with defense and security related aid and equipment.

“By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and laws of the United States of America, including Section 517 of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended (22 USC 2321k) (the “Act”), I hereby terminate the designation of Afghanistan as a major non-NATO ally of the United States for purposes of the Act and the arms exports,” US President Joe Biden said in an executive order.

In July, Biden notified the US Congress of his intention to rescind the designation of Afghanistan as a major non-NATO ally.

“Pursuant to Section 517 of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended (22 USC 2321k), I give notice of my intention to rescind the designation of Afghanistan as a major non-member ally of ‘NATO,” Biden said in an earlier letter. .

The Taliban last year launched an offensive against the democratically elected Afghan government after the Biden administration announced the end of its military presence in Afghanistan.

On August 15, 2021, the Taliban invaded Kabul without meeting any resistance and took full control of the Afghan capital. Later in September, the Taliban declared complete victory in Afghanistan and formed an interim government, which has yet to be officially recognized by any country.

Since rising to power in Kabul, the Islamic group has imposed policies that severely restrict basic human rights, especially those of women and girls.

According to Human Rights Watch (HRW), the Taliban have sacked all women from leadership positions in the civil service and banned girls from most provinces from attending secondary school. Taliban decrees prohibit women from traveling unless accompanied by a male relative and require women’s faces to be covered in public, including TV presenters.

The Taliban also practiced censorship, limited critical reporting and beat journalists. Taliban forces have committed revenge killings and enforced disappearances of former government officials and former members of the security forces. They summarily executed people deemed to be affiliated with the Islamic State.

Armed groups linked to the Afghan branch of the Islamic State have carried out bomb attacks targeting Hazaras, Afghan Shiites, Sufis and others, killing and injuring hundreds.

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