KABUL: The Afghan Taliban’s announcement to suspend university education for girls has angered former US special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, who called the move “shocking and incomprehensible.”
Khalilzad referred to the Taliban faction’s exclusion of women from higher education as “shocking” and “incomprehensible.”
Nothing in Islam or Afghan history, the former US special representative said, could support such a choice.
Further, he cited eminent Islamic scholars from Afghanistan and other parts of the world who reminded us that education for women and men is a fundamental Islamic value.
Khalilzad also used a historical example, noting that in the 15th century, education was available to both boys and girls in areas that are now a part of Afghanistan.
“I personally know that the majority of Taliban commanders oppose this unusual verdict, the majority of other Afghan leaders, and thus I believe that the Afghan people are also against this misguided decision,” he continued.
Khalilzad sharply criticised a few leaders among the ranks and noted that this action thwarts Afghanistan’s ability to advance and become more independent.
In answer to a query, he also stated that the international community will properly and firmly criticise this choice and increase pressure on the Taliban.
It is important to note that the decision is supported by several prominent Taliban figures, including Sirajuddin Haqqani, Mullah Yaqub, and Deputy Prime Minister Mullah Baradar.
The Taliban-run higher education ministry in Afghanistan had previously declared that female students would not be admitted to the nation’s universities until further notice.