The Taliban is cracking down on Afghans trying to leave the country as they continue to conduct their door-to-door security sweep. In what the extremist group is calling a “clearing operation,” militants are searching for weapons and people who are alleged of kidnapping and robbery but are likely looking for Afghans that had U.S. relations and those that are living contrary to their intransigent Islamic rule, such as Christians.
A travel ban was announced late Sunday night along with a statement from the Taliban spokesman, “I have to say clearly that persons who leave the country along with their families and have no excuse…We are preventing them.” In addition to the broad spectrum of restrictions of movement, the archaic Shari’a law is being imposed upon the citizens, negatively affecting women especially. The spokesman for the Taliban commented, “If they (women) want to travel abroad, they should have a chaperone. This is the order of Islamic Shari’a law.”
The Taliban has justified their new restrictions by claiming to be protecting the citizens of Afghanistan from harsher conditions outside of the country, and that they never said the evacuations would continue indefinitely, “Initially we had said that the Americans could take people whom they had any concerns about, but this is not a continuous promise.” There are still thousands of Afghans in the country that were promised asylum after working with U.S. forces in the country that are now stuck in imminent danger. Citizens without links to the U.S. have also tried to flee due to the economic crisis brought on by the Taliban takeover in August.
“We want to assure the residents of Kabul that these operations are not against the common people,” the Taliban spokesman said. “The residents of the city should be confident the search is going on carefully.” These comments may not be very reassuring to the Afghans trying to flee and the Christians still in hiding.