Kabul: Afghanistan’s Taliban rulers have decided against reopening schools Wednesday to girls above the sixth grade, reneging on a promise and opting to appease their hardline base at the expense of further alienating the international community.
The surprising decision, confirmed by a Taliban official, is bound to disrupt efforts by the Taliban to win recognition from potential international donors at a time when the country is mired in a worsening humanitarian crisis. The international community has urged Taliban leaders to reopen schools and give women their right to public space.
The reversal was so sudden that the Education Ministry was caught off guard on Wednesday, the start of the school year in parts of the Afghan capital of Kabul and elsewhere in the country. Some girls in higher grades returned to schools, only to be told to go home.