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Timeline of Events | One year into Taliban rule in Afghanistan

Exactly a year ago, the Taliban consolidated their return to power by the capture of strategic Afghan cities including Kabul, the state capital at a speed no one predicted.

It was indeed a prized victory for the group that had fought local and international forces for nearly two decades since they were forced out of power in 2001 by a US-led invasion.

One year since their return to power, the Taliban regime, alias Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, remains in diplomatic isolation and on the world stage has no formal recognition.

Increasingly, the Taliban-ruled Islamic Emirate is at odds with Western powers on policy issues such as press freedom and human rights.

Women and girls are faced with some of the most extreme restrictions since their return.

Here is a timeline of key events of the past 365 days:

15 August 2021

The Taliban took control of the Presidential Palace in Kabul, the Afghan state capital.

President Ashraf Ghani fled abroad.

30 August 2021

The last American plane departed Afghanistan, ending almost two decades of Western military presence in the country.

7 September 2021

Twenty-three days after the capture of Kabul, the hardline Islamist group unveils a new interim government.

The all-male cabinet is led by Mohammad Hasan Akhund as prime minister in an acting capacity.

9 – 10 October 2021

Delegates from the Taliban and the United States held physical talks in the Qatari Capital, Doha.

The two-day meeting between both sides – the first since the Taliban returned to power featured discussions on human rights, security, and humanitarian assistance.

17 November 2021

Acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi calls on the US Congress to release frozen Afghan assets worth nearly $9.5bn seized by Washington.

17 December 2021

Saudi Arabia sent more than 65 tonnes of aid, including 1,647 food baskets to Afghanistan to help mitigate the unprecedented humanitarian crisis.

24 January 2022

The Taliban and Western envoys meet in Oslo, the Norwegian capital in a bid to address the serious Afghan humanitarian and economic crisis.

16 February 2022

The Taliban delegation held discussions with EU and US diplomats in Qatar as the regime inter alia seeks to secure international legitimacy.

23 March 2022

Hours after the reopening of high schools for girls, the Taliban-led government backtracked and ordered a closure.

The new decision drew wide condemnation from foreign governments.

In light of that, the United States cancelled planned talks with the regime.

29 April 2022

In a scripted message ahead of Eid al-Fitr holiday Taliban’s supreme leader, Haibatullah Akhundzada calls on the international community to recognize the re-established regime.

7 May 2022

Taliban orders women to cover their faces in public.

This restrictive policy sparked an international outcry and was criticized by many locals.

22 June 2022

A deadly earthquake hits eastern Afghanistan killing more than 1,000 people and leaving over 1,500 more injured.

The environmental disaster – the deadliest in 20 years posed a huge logistical challenge for the Taliban-run administration.

30 June – 2 July 2022

The Taliban leadership held a three-day meeting which had in attendance over 3,000 Muslim clerics and tribal leaders.

It was their first major gathering since making a return to power.

2 August 2022

In a statement, the Taliban condemned but did not confirm the killing of Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri by a United States drone strike.

11 August 2022

Prominent Taliban cleric Sheikh Rahimullah Haqqani lost his life in a seminary blast at the state capital.

What does the future hold?

Taliban What does the future hold

As the Taliban-led government enters into another dispensation, Afghanistan is sliding into the pre-2001 rule that was based on strict interpretation and enforcement of Islamic law and order.

The last time the Islamic Emirate was in power, policies of systematic oppression of women were imposed – they were barred from public life and education.

Currently, the Taliban runs an aid-dependent economy, which is in freefall due to sanctions and exclusion from international financial institutions.

The Afghan state of almost 40 million people is faced with rising security issues and is beset by widespread hunger, poverty, and drought.

Complying with international demands, especially on the issues of human rights might just be a necessary evil for the Islamic Emirate to recalibrate ties with the outside world.

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