Afghanistan Earthquake: Taliban And World Response – OpEd


Afghanistan has been a flash point for earthquakes. For instance, a deadly quake in March struck the Northeastern Afghanistan which triggered devastating landslides causing deaths and collapsing homes. Another earthquake of 5.9 magnitude last June in the Eastern Paktika and Khost killed more than a thousand people. In addition, a 5.6 magnitude earthquake struck Badghis, another Western province near Herat on January 17, 2022. 

A recent earthquake with a magnitude of 6.3 has jolted the Western Afghanistan surrounding 40 km of the cultural capital of Afghanistan, Herath. The affected areas include Dasht Hows, Bahadorzai, Badghis, Farah, Zoryan and Koshkak. The recent earthquake has killed around 2400 hundred people while thousends have injured whereas it has also demolished thousends of homes. Hundreds of families have become homeless and thousands have fled. Video footages show heaps of debris all around. 

The rescue efforts are though continued without advanced machinery. Here, the question arises about the role of the Taliban, to whom the people of Afghanistan have never been comfortable. Whenever the Taliban tookover the Kabul, the brain drian occured. What we have been observing is the pathetic situation of healthcare system where the paucity of medical staff and basic medication in the country have been huge impediments for providing healthcare facilities to the earthquake affectees particular and the common Afghans in general. 

On the other side, the role of America has been hypocritic. On one end, it stabbed the former Afghan government by signing the Doha deal with the Taliban, on the flipe side, America has frozen the foreign reserves of 7 billion USD of Afghanistan. At the same time, when the country is in a severe human catastrophes- the aid dependent country Afghanistan is heading towards devastation. The world response with special reference to the UNO to the victims of earthquake in Afghanistan is equal to none. At current, no reasonable post earthquake development activities have been seen. The role of the WHO, the UNICEF, and the UNESCO after the tremors of earthquake is condemnable. They, including the Taliban have left the earthquake victims on the mercy of the situation. 

The current role of the Taliban, America, and the UNO with respect to Afghanistan where earthquake has jolted the poor Afghans is deplorable, condemnable, and unacceptable. This has defaced the hypocritic policies of America, the poor governance system of the Taliban, and weak stratagems of the UNO. The people of Afghanistan donot deserve this. They have been paying the price of the sins which they have not committed. This deplorable situation demands that sanity must prevail and human values must be given priorities in Afghanistan. Post earthquake developments in Afghanistan are the need of the hour. Will someone pay heed?

Naseeb Ullah Achakzai

Naseeb Ullah Achakzai is a M.Phil scholar and writes as a freelance columnist.

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