A general view of Taliban military parade in Kabul, Afghanistan. 14 November, 2021. (Photo credit: REUTERS/Ali Khara)
On 16 January, the Taliban movement announced that it had expelled 2,840 members from its ranks after a government-appointed commission found them guilty of engaging in illegal and abusive practices.
Latifullah Hakimi, the head of the commission said the members who were dismissed were subjected to a through vetting process and that more members of the movement are also being investigated and will be dealt with accordingly, if found guilty.
Explaining the reasons for their dismissal, Hakimi said, “they were involved in corruption, drugs and were intruding on people’s private lives. Some also had links with Daesh.”
Hakimi went on to say that they were “giving a bad name to the Islamic Emirate. They were removed in this vetting process so that we can build a clean army and police force in the future.”
The government set up the commission in response to numerous complaints from citizens and stakeholders that some Taliban members were carrying out criminal activities, such as extra-judicial killings of Afghans who had worked with the western-backed government that was ousted in August 2021.
When the Taliban returned to power, the leader of the movement gave an amnesty to all individuals who had served in the previous government as officials or soldiers.
However, despite the amnesty, some Taliban members have been accused of carrying out reprisal attacks against former members of western armed forces.
Since returning to power in August 2021, after nearly 20 years under US occupation, the Taliban have faced a myriad of problems, including attacks by ISIS and an economic crisis that has spiralled out of control in recent months.
The economic crisis is, to a large extent, the result of the decision by the US to impose sanctions on the government of Afghanistan, and block it from accessing the country’s foreign reserves held in western banks.
According to the United Nations, the crisis has pushed nearly 22 million Afghans to the verge of starvation.