Home >News >World >Taliban came to my house in search of me, beat my guard: Former female Afghan mayor

“The Taliban came to my house in Afghanistan, they were searching for me and they also beat my house guard," said Zarifa Ghafari, who was one of the country's first female mayors of Maidan Shahr that lies west of Kabul. 

Speaking to news agency ANI via video conference Ghafari expressed that Taliban have a list of people who took a liberal approach earlier. 

“Afghanistan was ours and it'll remain ours no matter who comes. If women like me are now not there it's because... Just like a tiger who takes two steps back to come back with more force...We have to show to the world the real face of Taliban in Afghanistan," she added. 

She also said that she has pledged to fight for women's rights in exile. “My aim is to meet high ranking officials, politicians and women of different countries to make them aware of the real situation in Afghanistan, and ask them to join me for start a movement."

Ghafari thanked the German government and people for "saving" her life and that of her family.

"I am just here to raise the voice of that 99% of people in Afghanistan who are not able to come out of their houses, those women who are not able to work, those women who are not able to speak out," she said.

When they last held power, the Taliban strictly enforced their ultra-conservative interpretation of Sunni Islam that included banning women from going to school or working. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said last Tuesday that women "will be very active in society but within the framework of Islam".

Ghafari, who first fled to Istanbul with her family, said she was aware of the crisis of refugees and immigration in Germany, but added: "Me and my family, we are not here as migrants."

Her journey was facilitated by the German army, whose soldiers are helping German nationals, Afghans as well as activists and lawyers whose lives are in danger for helping NATO armies flee Afghanistan.

Furthermore, Afghanistan's new Taliban rulers said on Tuesday they wanted all foreign evacuations from the country completed by an Aug. 31 deadline and they would not agree to an extension.

The hardline Islamist group sought to assure the thousands of Afghans crowded into Kabul airport in the hope of boarding flights they had nothing to fear and should go home.

"We guarantee their security," Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told a news conference in the capital, which Taliban fighters seized on Aug. 15.

The frantic evacuation operation kicked off after the Taliban seized Kabul on Aug. 15 and the U.S.-backed government collapsed as the United States and its allies withdrew troops after a 20-year presence.

The militant group had been ousted by U.S.-led forces in the weeks after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States by al Qaeda militants whose leaders had found safe haven in Afghanistan.

Many Afghans fear reprisals and a return to a harsh version of Islamic law that the Taliban enforced when in power from 1996 to 2001, in particular the repression of women.


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