08/18/2021 Afghanistan (International Christian Concern) – As Afghanistan descends into further chaos, with anti-Taliban protests rising in Jalalabad and reports of Taliban brutality increasing, the international community cannot sit idly by. They must form a comprehensive, multilateral response to the situation in Afghanistan.
First, the multilateral coalition must communicate to the Taliban that human rights violations will not be tolerated by the West and will be met with a strong response from the United States and its allies. These actions should include sanctions, soft and hard diplomatic approaches, and hard power measures. Direct and specific messaging is needed to ensure the Taliban remains in check.
Second, the international community must band together to evacuate at-risk communities from Afghanistan. These include Christians and other religious minorities as well as other communities in direct danger from hardline Taliban ideology. Most Christians in the country are Muslim-background believers and therefore are a particular target of the Taliban, which considers them apostates and deserving of death.
Third, the West must work to ensure that foreign press remains active in the country to maintain a constant outflow of information. Hardline Taliban will likely move to suppress the press. The press must maintain a vigilant presence in reporting on human rights abuses and movements by the Taliban as they go after at-risk communities within Afghanistan.
Finally, governments must continue to coordinate with the NGO community to safeguard the evacuation process. Most religious minorities are not public about their faith. Their safety should be considered the utmost priority in any evacuation process and be handled with discretion.
Matias Perttula, Director of Advocacy for International Christian Concern, said, “The time to act is now. Western governments must take multilateral action to safeguard the at-risk communities of Pakistan. We cannot trust the Taliban, and we cannot leave our friends at their mercy.”
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