After nearly 20 years of US occupation, the Taliban gained control of Afghanistan one year ago on Monday.
However, the Taliban authorities still have a lot of work to do in order to revive the country’s lifeless economy and handle the severe humanitarian situation.
In the meanwhile, the Taliban’s cause has not benefited by its isolation on a global scale.
Despite repeated requests and attempts by Taliban officials, no country in the world has recognized the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA), as the country is officially known under Taliban administration.
As a prerequisite for recognition, the West has asked that the Taliban remove restrictions on women’s rights and increase political representation. The Taliban claims that by refusing to recognize its administration, the United States is violating the terms of the 2020 Doha Agreement.
Western governments have accused the Taliban government of not upholding its obligations under the Doha Agreement, which required the Taliban to deny safe haven to al-Qaeda and other armed groups in Afghanistan in exchange for the US withdrawal. This accusation stems from the death of al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri last month in a US drone strike in Kabul.
Several violent strikes attributed on the Islamic State in Khorasan Province, ISKP (ISIS-K), have increased Western capitals’ anxieties about Afghanistan’s security situation after the US leaves.
In the aftermath of al-assassination, Zawahiri’s Washington will find it difficult to trust the Taliban, with the West likely hardening its attitude toward the Taliban administration amid growing support for sanctions imposed on it.
Ibraheem Bahiss, an analyst with the International Crisis Group who focuses on Afghanistan, stated in an interview with Al Jazeera that although engagement between the West and Afghanistan is “likely to slow down” in the wake of al-Zawahiri’s killing,” so far it is unclear if this development will impact regional engagement with the Taliban’s de facto government”.
“Al-Qaeda is not a key consideration for many of the regional countries and it is possible they may continue their engagement despite this development.”