Sign up for GZERO Media's global politics newsletter
What We're Watching: Taliban confusion

Afghan men sell Taliban flags backdropped by the Muslim creed written on a wall of the former United States embassy in Kabul.

REUTERS

Will the real Taliban please stand up? The Taliban seem to be adopting a classic one-step-forward-two-steps-back approach to governance. Last week, at a conference attended by dozens of foreign ministers from across the Islamic world, their top diplomat claimed that all government departments had resumed operations. But on Sunday, the new rulers of Afghanistan announced the shutdown of the main election commissions and the ministries of parliamentary affairs and peace, calling them “unnecessary.” Confusion ensues: evacuee flights have been stalled, but the passport office has been reopened. In addition, every day turns up new bizarre and oppressive regulations, such as women not being allowed to travel alone over 45 miles in a cab, which must be driven by a driver with a beard. And there is evidence that the Taliban continue to both attract jihadists and threaten regional peace. At the same time, they are also engaging officially with Iran, despite their anti-Shia stance, and have even set up a WhatsApp hotline to fight pollution. Which Taliban are running Afghanistan? Are they at all?

Live digital event | Time for nature: Turning biodiversity risk into opportunity | Wed, Dec 14 | 8 am EST

GZEROMEDIA

Subscribe to GZERO Media's newsletter: Signal

Sign up for GZERO's newsletter, Signal
Live digital event | Time for nature: Turning biodiversity risk into opportunity | Wed, Dec 14 | 8 am EST

GZEROMEDIA

Subscribe to GZERO Media's newsletter: Signal

Sign up for GZERO's newsletter, Signal