US Senate condemns Taliban policies on minorities

WASHINGTON, USA - The U.S. Senate on Tuesday unanimously approved a resolution condemning the "harsh and discriminatory" practices of Afghanistan's ruling Taliban toward religious minorities and women.

The Senate, in a nonbinding resolution, urged the Taliban to allow food aid and other relief provisions to all Afghans after a series of disputes between international aid agencies and the Taliban.

The Taliban, which captured the capital Kabul in 1996 and now controls most of Afghanistan, is trying to impose an extreme interpretation of Islam that has drawn frequent international condemnation.

The government has barred women from work, education and going outdoors without wearing a veil covering them from head to toe. It also has asked its small Hindu community to wear yellow badges and destroyed ancient Buddhist statues.

The Senate resolution calls on the international community to increase assistance to the Afghan people and calls on Pakistan to provide relief to Afghan refugees and abandon any plans for forced repatriation.

19:25 06-19-01

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