Taliban special forces brutally end women’s protest

Bloomberg Quicktake: Now released this video clip, titled “Taliban Special Forces Brutally End Women’s Protest” – below is their description.

Camouflage-clad Taliban special forces fired into the air on Saturday, bringing a brutal and frightening end to the latest protest march in the capital by Afghan women demanding equal rights for the new leaders.

Also on Saturday, the head of the powerful Pakistani intelligence agency, which has disproportionate influence over the Taliban, paid a surprise visit to Kabul.

Taliban fighters quickly captured most of Afghanistan last month and celebrated the departure of the last US forces after 20 years of war. The insurgent group must now rule a country ravaged by war and heavily dependent on international aid.

The women’s march – the second in as many days in Kabul – began peacefully. Protesters laid a wreath outside the Afghan Ministry of Defense to honor Afghan soldiers who died fighting the Taliban before heading to the presidential palace.

“We are here to obtain human rights in Afghanistan,” said Maryam Naiby, a 20-year-old protester. “I love my country. I will always be here.”

As the protesters’ cries grew louder, several Taliban officials rushed into the crowd to ask them what they wanted to say.

Flanked by other protesters, Sudaba Kabiri, a 24-year-old university student, told her Taliban interlocutor that the Prophet of Islam had given women rights and they wanted theirs. The Taliban official promised women would be granted their rights, but the women, all in their early twenties, were skeptical.

As the protesters reached the presidential palace, a dozen Taliban special forces rushed into the crowd, firing in the air and scaring the protesters away. Kabiri, who spoke to the Associated Press, said they also fired tear gas.

The Taliban have promised an inclusive government and a more moderate form of Islamic rule than when they last ruled the country from 1996 to 2001. But many Afghans, especially women, are deeply skeptical and fear a retreat. rights acquired over the past two decades. .

For much of the past two weeks, Taliban officials have held meetings among themselves, amid reports of differences between them. Early Saturday, the powerful neighboring Pakistani intelligence chief General Faiez Hameed paid a surprise visit to Kabul. It was not immediately clear what he had to say to the Taliban leadership, but Pakistani intelligence has a strong influence over the Taliban.

The Taliban leadership was headquartered in Pakistan and was often said to be in direct contact with the powerful Inter-Services Intelligence agency. Although Pakistan has consistently denied providing military aid to the Taliban, the accusation has often been made by the Afghan government and Washington.

Faiez’s visit comes as the world waits to see what kind of government the Taliban eventually announce, seeking one that is inclusive and ensures the protection of the rights of the country’s women and minorities.

The Taliban have pledged a broad-based government and have held talks with former President Hamid Karzai and former government negotiator Abdullah Abdullah. But the makeup of the new government is uncertain, and it was unclear whether die-hard ideologues among the Taliban would prevail – and whether the dreaded setbacks by female protesters will occur.

Taliban operatives on Saturday whitewashed murals that promoted health care, warned of the dangers of HIV and even paid tribute to some of Afghanistan’s iconic foreign contributors, such as anthropologist Nancy Dupree, who single-handedly chronicled Afghanistan’s rich cultural heritage. It was a disturbing sign of attempts to erase memories of the past 20 years.

Bloomberg Quicktake: now YouTube channel

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