The Taliban have declared that the war in Afghanistan is over after taking control of the Presidential Palace in Kabul as western nations evacuate their citizens from the Afghan capital.
Executive Director of an NGO for girls’ education Pashtana Durrani, while speaking to Journalist Krishnan Guru-Murthy of Channel 4 News, said, “This means losing your houses, your dreams, your goals, your ambition… everything. This means losing our identity as Afghans.”
“That was selling us out. That was to let the elite and the posh people get a way out. Let’s sell the people of Afghanistan. Let’s sell the civilians of Afghanistan,” said Pashtana, referring to the Doha peace talks.
She further added, “Let’s throw them to the wolves again.”
“Children are bleeding, people are taking refuge in parks of Kabul, people are taking refuge in shops of Kandahar. There is no way out…I am going to lose everything that my father, my whole family, and I have worked for. Every girl and every person has worked for, in the last 20 years,” added Pashtana.
“What are you going to do if there is a bang on the door?” asked the anchorperson.
“[Sighs] Pray … Pray, probably. It’s going to be the last thing that I’m going to do, but that’s the only thing I can do. I don’t have anything else to do,” replied Pashtana.
Talking to BBC News, spokesman for the Taliban, Shaheeh Suhail said that the militants want a “peaceful transfer of power” in Afghanistan in the next few days.
BBC’s Yalda Hakim questioned Suhail that the women in Afghanistan are fearful that the Taliban will reimpose the regime of the 90’s back in Afghanistan where women couldn’t go to school and could not work.
She asked him if it would be the same now. “There are hundreds of schools and universities in which students are studying and no restrictions have been imposed on them, they are continuing their studies,” said Suhail.
Hakim questioned that in Herat when women arrived at their university they were asked to leave by the Taliban forces. “What I am telling you is the policy. The policy is that women can have access to education, work, and observe the hijab, that is it,” replied Suhail.
Meanwhile, a senior analyst who specialises in Afghan relations says that “You never know with the Taliban. They have become really media savvy and know what to say and how to say it. In regards to women, they are saying that they will let them have their freedom now, but they can change their stance anytime.”
Afghanistan’s Minister of Education Rangina Hamidi says she is fearful “like every woman in Afghanistan”.
Talking to BBC News, Hamidi said, “Yes, Like the fear that every mother has in Afghanistan, the fear that every woman has in the country [I have it too].”
“Deep down in my heart I keep telling myself to think that I haven’t done anything bad and hopefully I wouldn’t have to pay the price for joining a government position,” added Hamidi.
“I might face consequences that I never ever dreamed of. I guess that’s the price we pay for trying to make the world a little better than one we came into, particularly Afghanistan,” said Hamidi.
The anchorperson questioned if she was fearful of a “knock on the door”.
“Anything is possible, I am actually sitting in the hallway of our house, where there are not many windows close by. Just a little earlier there were gunshots, I brought my daughter and the other people living in the house with us to be a bit safe. But in terms of how safe we are, and how this night if we remain until the morning, it is very difficult to predict if we [will be alive],” replied Hamidi.
Speaking from the capital Kabul as Taliban insurgents take control of the country, the minister said she didn’t expect such a response from a president who she “trusted fully”.
“I’m in shock, I’m in disbelief. I did not think that things would happen the way they did.
“And the saddest part is that I didn’t expect this. I didn’t expect this from the president that I knew and a president who I trusted fully.”
“Somehow in my heart, in the back of my mind, I still want to believe that this is not true – that he left – but if he did, it’s really a shame.”
Journalist Anisa Shaheed says she will not give in to the Taliban. “There are many untold stories in Afghanistan and we need to tell them.”
“Nothing is harder than reporting on a child who has been disabled, a child’s rights being violated, or a child crying, or when a woman is crying because of sheer oppression,” said Anisa.
Previously, under the Taliban rule, women were not allowed to work, to go to school. At times they weren’t allowed to leave their home without a male guardian.