Afghans fear return to Taliban rule after US peace deal signed

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By Mark Armstrong  with AFP
Afghans fear return to Taliban rule after US peace deal signed
Copyright  AFP

There are fears Afghanistan could revert back to extreme fundamental Islamic rule after a peace deal was signed between the US and the Taliban.

The group was in power between 1996 and 2001 and enforced a regime that gave women virtually no rights, banning them from travelling, working, and getting an education.

"As the Taliban signed the peace deal with the US, now the Taliban should sign a peace agreement with the Afghan government too," said Mohammad Zafar, who lives in the eastern city of Jalalabad.

Sayed Naveed Sadat, another Jalalabad resident, said: "if the US leaves Afghanistan, we Afghans have concerns that we will be going into a brutal situation again, the Taliban will start their bombing and attacking again, so we call on the Taliban to sign the peace deal with the Afghan government too, as soon as possible."

In recent years, more women have received an education, gone to university and trained to be school teachers, midwives and pilots.

Arezo Jalali is a 16-year-old schoolgirl in the southern city of Kandahar. She remains positive about her future.

"I don't have any concerns about it because I'm a woman...I will never give up on my dream because I have a plan for my future so I will just deal with any kind of problem in this world."

Washington hopes the peace deal will mark the beginning of the end of nearly two decades of war in the country with US and NATO troops pulling out within 14 months.