U.N. envoy to discuss Taliban ban

ISLAMABAD, JULY 12. The United Nations co-ordinator for Afghanistan, Mr. Eric de Mul, is currently in Kandahar to discuss with the Taliban its latest edict banning Afghan women from working with the U.N. and other international agencies.

Mr. De mul rushed to Kandahar today amid reports that the Taliban authorities decided to expel an American lady who is running a voluntary organisation in the health sector for over three decades. The 70-year-old lady was arrested by the Taliban along with some other Afghan women she employed. On Tuesday, the U.S. State Department asked the Taliban to release the lady after taking up the matter with the U.N.

Reports suggest the Taliban are in no mood to relent and the decision to expel the American aid worker is an indication of their determination to enforce its ban against employment of Afghan women. The U.N. has expressed concern over the events and said prohibition of women from working in social sector would jeopardise the on-going programmes.