The foreign ministers of the UK, Canada, France, Italy, Norway and the US, along with the high representative of the European Union on Friday urged the Taliban to reopen schools for girls.
“The Taliban’s action contradicted its public assurances to the Afghan people and to the international community. Unreversed, it will profoundly harm Afghanistan’s prospects for social cohesion and economic growth. Every Afghan citizen, boy or girl, man or woman, has an equal right to an education at all levels, in all provinces of the country,” the statement said.
According to Afghanistan-based news agency TOLONews, schools in Herat and Badghis provinces allowed girls to attend classes. Girls in Kabul also were allowed to attend but in all of these provinces were sent back as the news surfaced. It said that a plan to reopen the schools for female students in grades 7-12 has been submitted to the top leadership of the terrorist group.
More than a million Afghan girls were crushed on hearing this news on Wednesday as they eagerly waited to return to schools. Zahra Rohani, a teenager, while speaking to news agency the New York Times (NYT) said that the news has killed the last bit of hope she had with regard to her dreams of becoming a lawyer.
The Taliban said that the schools for women will remain closed until they devise a plan which is in accordance with Islamic law. Taliban’s move will only affect its credibility and lead to holding up billions of dollars of humanitarian aid which currently is keeping Afghanistan off from the grips of a famine, the NYT reported.
The international community reiterated that girls’ education is a central condition for foreign aid and any future recognition of the Taliban. Afghan expert Andrew Watkins, of the US Institute of Peace, told news agency AFP that the Taliban fears how it would make them look to their followers if women went to schools and colleges for studying.
The decision to send girls to school was reversed after Taliban officials in the southern city of Kandahar met. Kandahar is the de facto power centre and conservative spiritual heartland of terrorist group, according to news agencies.