When the Taliban seized Kabul they were quick to announce amnesty for former government workers. This included members of Afghanistan’s disgraced armed forces. They went as far as issuing letters of safety for Army officers who willingly surrendered their weapons. But as was anticipated, the Taliban’s water-solid promises have dissipated as these very same people who were assured of their safety are being sought out and murdered in cold blood.
Thus far, more than 100, and still counting, former Afghan intelligence, police officers, and military members, have been hunted down and killed, or have mysteriously disappeared. The group Human Rights Watch said that despite the Taliban’s promises of amnesty, they’re slaughtering every ex-government worker they can locate.
In a new report, Human Rights Watch said, “The pattern of killings has sown terror throughout Afghanistan, as no one associated with the former government can feel secure they have escaped the threat of reprisal.”
Taliban fighters have been using government employment records to hunt down their targets. They have specifically painted bull’s eyes on those officials and soldiers who had willingly surrendered and were in possession of the letters assuring them of their safety.
Only saying that those targeted have committed “unforgivable acts,” local Taliban commanders have handed out lists of names and known addresses to their fighters in the streets to hunt them down like rats and to show them no mercy.
The Taliban also aren’t pleased with the way the Islamic State has been kicking up sand in the eastern province of Nangarhar. Just last week a fierce shoot-out erupted between Taliban and IS fighters in the streets of Jalalabad, the province’s capital city. The battle lasted for 8-hours before the Taliban retreated.
As a result, commanders have also distributed a second list of names which includes anyone even in the least bit suspected of supporting the Islamic State, even if in actuality, they don’t. No chances are to be taken. Kill them all. Ask no questions.
To nobody’s surprise, Taliban Prime Minister Mohammed Hassan Akhund waved the accusations off as a lie. Referring to when the Taliban gained control, he said, “they announced [sic] amnesty for all. Has there been [sic] any example of this? There is no problem for anyone.” He then added that any former government worker “resumes his bad deeds…then he will be punished based on his crime.” Consider that statement his disclaimer.
Words have not stopped the ongoing slaughter of ex-cops, soldiers, and intelligence officers. Patricia Gossman, Human Rights Watch’s associate Asia director, said, “The burden is on the Taliban to prevent further killings, hold those responsible to account and compensate the victims’ families.” To this, we say, “good luck with that.”
Taliban fighters prefer raiding homes under the cover of darkness by performing night raids to flush out their victims. If the person they are seeking isn’t there, they’ll abuse and torture whoever is there into revealing the person’s whereabouts. Works like a charm.
In more cases than not, if the unlucky person the fighters are hunting down is home, they’re abducted only to turn up later laying in the middle of a street, badly beaten, bruised, and lifeless.
The report said that since the Taliban’s initial takeover when they were killing anything that moved, “killings and disappearances appear to have become more deliberate since then as Taliban commanders…have used informants and information from the previous government to locate others.”
The report does on to further cite the case of Abdul Qadir who had been a fighter in the National Directorate for Security. When stopped at a checkpoint he told the Taliban guards who he was, but at the same time, he was also holding his letter of amnesty in one hand as he did so. The letter was ignored as Qadir was yanked from his vehicle and detained. Three days later he was found floating in a river, face down.
Gossman said, “The Taliban’s unsupported claims that they will act to prevent abuses and hold abusers to account appear so far to be nothing more than a public relations stunt.”
So goes another day in the Mid-East where life never changes. Currently, it’s the Taliban’s turn to kill people, but if the Islamic State keeps building strength, it’ll be their turn next. Until they get knocked out of power. Then… You get the idea. Who’s glad to be out of there even if Biden did botch our exit? Raise your hands high so we can count ‘em.