Taliban Tested By Afghanistan Women’s Rights Activists In Oslo

An Afghanistan woman’s rights activist Hoda Khamosh shouted at Amir Khan Muttaqi the acting foreign minister of Taliban in Oslo, Norway, last week, to pick up the phone and call Kabul right now and ask them to release the girls immediately.

Hoda Khamosh demanded to release of two female activists Tamana Zaryabi Paryani and Parawana Ibrahimkhel, who were disappeared after their houses were raided on Jan 20. Over the past few months, they had attended many protests against the Taliban.

Khamosh was invited among one of six Afgan women to sit with Taliban officials who came to their first invited visit by western country after taking control of Afghanistan since August. The talks had been held to discuss the economic and humanitarian situation of Afghanistan.

This invitation caused different reactions among various women’s rights activists from Afghanistan, where some welcomed it as a chance for Afgan to Afgan negotiations. While others felt that by holding such meetings Taliban rule shouldn’t be normalized and showed doubts about the trustworthiness of their promises.

Khamosh told ABC News that it was important that Norway emphasized the invitation didn’t mean recognition of the Taliban and explained how the horrible humanitarian situation in Afghanistan compelled her to sit face to face with the Taliban for making a way to get as many concessions as possible from them.

Almost 10 million children all across Afghanistan are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance for survival, according to the United Nations Children’s Fund.

UNICEF said that almost one million children would be severely malnourished in the coming weeks, without immediate action. Which includes half of all children under the age of 5.

Khamosh stated that we had been discussing how the money can come to Afghanistan to assist with opening offices, schools and for creating jobs and make the economy wheels turn.

Although, the track record of the Taliban regarding female suppression has left almost no reason to trust their promises by many women’s rights activists.

Khamosh stated that it is why at the beginning of the meeting with the Taliban her first request was to release the fellow activists Taliban had arrested.

Norway and United States governments released the statement about the Oslo meeting. In which the Taliban was urged to do more to stop the alarming increase of forced disappearances, torture, extra-judicial killings, human rights violations, arbitrary detentions including recent detentions of women’s rights activists, media crackdowns, prohibitions on girls and women education, freedom to travel without a male escort and employment.

The acting foreign minister Muttaqi denied the arrests of the activists and replied that those women activists were not arrested or tortured by the Taliban.

In reaction to Muttaqi's denial, Khamosh said that she don’t trust him, because one of the women’s mothers handed her the documents that showed the Taliban had taken the women. And for this reason, the west shouldn’t give all the money to the Taliban in one go or directly to them. We should wait and see the next move and the real intentions of the Taliban to fulfill their promises first.

Shinkai Karokhail former Afghan parliamentarian shared the same concerns as Kahmosh and said that the Taliban must take a moderate approach towards human rights and end its hostilities against women.

The Taliban had not responded to ABC News inquiries about the Oslo talks.

Karokhail told ABC News that before entering into talks, the West must ask the Taliban to prove themselves.


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