From January 23 to 25, 2022, Norway hosted a conference in which a delegation of the Taliban regime, led by Foreign Minister Mullah Manan Mottaki (Amir Khan Muttaqi), joined representatives of imperialist countries — such as the United States, Britain, France, Germany, and Italy — as well as the European Union and the United Nations. A few Afghan women also participated. As a strategic partner of the United States, Norway played the role of facilitating the U.S. mission in relation to Afghanistan.
The objectives and agenda of the conference as well as the selection of its participants had already been prepared by the United States and NATO. The Afghan people had no role in it or control over it. Supposedly the purpose of the meeting was to review the human rights situation, humanitarian aid, the issue of women’s rights and the education of girls. However, putting the emphasis on human rights, women and girls’ education, as well as the supposed formation of an inclusive government, was an excuse to wash the bloody hands of the Taliban and make them appear innocent in order to divert public opinion inside and outside of Afghanistan.
The U.S. and NATO’s “sympathy” with the women and people of Afghanistan is, in fact, no more than crocodile tears over the unparalleled suffering of the Afghan people for which the United States and its allies are responsible. It is clear that the United States and its NATO allies are attempting to pave the way towards the legitimation and recognition of the misogynist and extremist Islamic Emirate of the Taliban in Afghanistan. On the other hand, the Taliban will also try to use the humanitarian catastrophe caused by the economic crisis, poverty and starvation to win release of nearly 10 billion dollars’ worth of frozen Afghan assets, not to solve the economic and welfare problems of the people, but to strengthen the foundations of their own authoritarian regime.
While the three-day conference on human rights and women’s rights in Oslo was going on and the Taliban were offering false promises, in Kabul they continued to suppress women’s protests, imprisoning and torturing women protesters. The gates of girls’ schools and universities are still closed, women have been evicted from governmental offices, and the presence of women in public has been severely restricted.
While some Taliban leaders are on the blacklists of the U.S. and NATO member states, and some of these states have offered tens of millions of dollars as rewards for the detention of accused Taliban members, Norway invited them to Oslo under false names and on a private flight. In fact they welcomed the Taliban delegation by laying red carpets under their feet.
The hypocrisy of the United States and NATO shows that the imperialist countries can violate any law and human values for their own interests. Despite the fact that some members of the Taliban delegation have criminal records, they are formally invited to international conferences, while the issue of blacklists, sanctions and their criminal records is practically ignored. In addition, during their talks with representatives of the United States, NATO, the United Nations, and the European Union, the Taliban delegation sought to remove the names of high-ranking members of the Taliban and the Haqqani Network from the blacklist, sanctions, and criminal cases.
The Oslo Summit was, in fact, a supplement to the Doha Agreement signed between the United States and the Taliban in February 2020, under which the Taliban pledged to pursue U.S. and NATO agendas in Afghanistan and the region instead of Ashraf Ghani’s ousted government. In return, the U.S. and its allies vowed to withdraw their troops from Afghanistan and hand over power to Taliban.
So, at the Oslo Summit, imperialist countries, especially the United States, were determined to get the Taliban to reaffirm their commitment to the provisions of the Doha Agreement and to comply with U.S. demands in order to ease the aid and recognition process.
The fact is that although the United States and NATO have failed in Afghanistan, they are still intervening and sacrificing the Afghan people for the realization of their strategic goals. The United States and its allies still maintain ties with local mercenaries, supporting covert deals with the Taliban and its various opposition groups, including ISIS and the “National Resistance Front,” which consists of criminals, human rights violators and remnants of the corrupt Ashraf Ghani regime.
However, the Taliban regime is not united and there are many groups and differences among them. The Haqqani Network is an extremist group within the Taliban that has close ties to Pakistan’s ISI and the U.S. CIA. Under these ties, in March 2020, Anas Haqqani, a senior member of the Haqqani Network who had been sentenced to death by the Afghan Supreme Court, was released from the Kabul prison under U.S. pressure.
In response to U.S. and NATO intervention, or their so-called benevolent efforts in Afghanistan, U.S. and NATO rivals, including Iran, Russia and China, have not been inactive. They are trying to mediate between the Taliban and the “National Resistance Front” so that they can take the initiative in Afghanistan away from the United States and NATO.
The people of Afghanistan, protesting women, and the socialist and democratic forces opposed the holding of the Oslo Conference and the participation of the Taliban. The protesting women in Kabul pointed out that the women invited to the Oslo conference did not represent them at all; they were merely symbolic placeholders and undoubtedly represented the corrupt former regime of Ashraf Ghani and the U.S. and NATO — just another attempt to deceive the world.
Despite the brutal repression of the Taliban, the brave women of Afghanistan are taking to the streets of Kabul every day chanting slogans of “BREAD, WORK and FREEDOM” and expressing their anger in various ways. While women are at the forefront of the fight against forced hijab and restrictions on women’s employment, education, and freedoms, Rina Amiri, Joe Biden’s special envoy for Afghan women, appeared before the Taliban in a religious hijab at the Oslo conference. This ridiculous show put on by the Biden representative is an insult to the struggles and sacrifices of women inside Afghanistan who are fighting against the forced veil imposed by the Taliban. Rina Amiri’s outrageous act can be interpreted as a green light by the U.S. for the anti-women policies of the Taliban.
Left Radical of Afghanistan (LRA) and other democratic forces, including women and youth, have no expectation of economic recovery or reform under the Taliban regime. Holding international conferences like the one in Oslo, without the real representatives of women, workers and the people of Afghanistan, has no legitimacy and cannot gain the support of the people.
LRA, socialists and democratic forces and women are fighting not to reform the Taliban regime but to overthrow it.
- No to U.S./NATO and other imperialist intervention in Afghanistan!
- Let the workers, women and youth of Afghanistan determine their fate!
- Support the struggle of Afghan socialist, democratic and secular forces!
Left Radical of Afghanistan (LRA)
January 26, 2022, Afghanistan