The Taliban government in Afghanistan has banned women from visiting Band-e-Amir National Park in central Bamyan province over non-adherence of wearing hijab. The announcement was made by Mohammad Khaled Hanafi, the acting Minister of Virtue and Vice, in a meeting, according to reports on Sunday.
"Women and our sisters cannot go to Band-e-Amir until we agree on a principle. The security agencies, elders and the inspectors should take action in this regard. Going for sightseeing is not obligatory," Hanafi said.
Bamyan clerics say women tourists come from outside province
Established in April 2009, Band-e-Amir National Park is Afghanistan’s first national park and remains a popular tourist spot. It attracts thousands of tourists every year. However, according to religious clerics in Bamiyan, women who do not wear hijab come from outside Bamiyan. They urged the government to take action against this.
"There are complaints about the lack of hijab or bad hijab, these are not Bamiyan residents. They come here from other places, from other provinces or outside of Afghanistan,” said Sayed Nasrullah Waezi, head of the Bamiyan Shia Ulema Council.
Mohammad Asif Burhan, a Bamiyan-based cleric noted, "There are dozens like this in every province, which is why problems have arisen, the enemy of Islam has gained courage.”
Taliban's continued restrictions on women
Since overthrowing then-president Ashraf Ghani’s government in August 2021, the Taliban imposed a number of restrictions on women. It banned women and girls from pursuing high education at universities. The group also forbade women from working with non-governmental organisations and agencies involved in aid work.
The Taliban’s orders have come under global scrutiny and drew sharp criticism from human rights organisations.