After a year under the Taliban, Afghanistan is now in “survival mode”, the UN has warned. Its economy has crumbled and rights – especially for women and girls – have been sharply curtailed. The fall of Kabul, on 15 August 2021, came after the US announced its intention to withdraw troops by the following month. There were chaotic scenes at Kabul airport as thousands of desperate Afghans sought to flee. One of those who escaped was the veteran journalist and commentator Bilal Sarwary. He and his family have been granted asylum in Canada, from where he continues to report on Afghanistan.
Alix Kroeger speaks to Bilal Sarwary about his last days in Kabul, the failings of the Afghan government and the international community, and the missed opportunities for reconciliation with the Taliban.
John Simpson writes how the Taliban have learned that they cannot shut out the West.
Afiq Fitri explains how living standards in Afghanistan have collapsed.
Shiraz Maher on the tensions exposed within the Taliban by the death of the al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in Kabul.
Lynne O’Donnell on the “lifetime of lockdown” facing Afghan girls who have been shut out of education.
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