The toys and management books from the previous occupant of the room remained neatly on the table. But to that was added a white Taliban flag and an M4 long-barreled weapon once used by an Afghan commando, now in the hands of the Taliban.
The owner of the room, the bearded man in his thirties, entered the room in his unblemished white clothes and a black turban, sat at the end of the table and offered his guest tea. However, he did not want to say his name. He said he was not allowed to speak and simply said he was the “manager”.
“We are very happy to be the head of government today,” the director said, adding: “We want to have good relations with the rest of the world. We want to cooperate and establish good relations with foreigners.”
TEA CHAT WITH THE TALIBAN
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The person the manager offered the tea to was Ben Farmer, a correspondent for the British Telegraph newspaper working in Kabul.
Farmer recently visited government institutions in Afghanistan, which came under Taliban control three weeks ago. This tea conversation also took place during this visit.
The British journalist, in his article sharing his impressions of the visit, recalled that the Taliban had treated Western journalists with suspicion until very recently, and commented that the warm welcome and offer of tea was a gesture for impress her.
The director Farmer spoke to said he was keeping an eye on this office, which previously belonged to the finance ministry, until positions in the new government were clarified.
“I WAS ENTRY LIKE A THIEF”
With the takeover by the Taliban, thousands of militants have taken to the streets of the capital, Kabul. Most of them came to the capital from rural provinces where Taliban influence was intense, such as Kandahar and Helmand.
There were serious differences in appearance between these militants who had come from the countryside with their big turbans, disheveled hair, beards and weapons, and the modern, well-groomed inhabitants of Kabul.
A Taliban activist, dressed in an orange shawl and camouflage jacket, standing guard outside the closed British embassy, told Farmer: “I had to sneak like a thief when I came to town, because the government could catch I couldn’t even move comfortably in my own country. Now we are running the country. “We never thought we would see victory,” he said.
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THEY PROTECT THE HOTELS AND THE MINISTRY
The events of the past few months have changed the situation in Afghanistan very rapidly. Taliban militants came to protect ministries and hotels where they were preparing to attack a few months ago.
Another commander from Kandahar, who said his name was Nisar, made statements to Farmer outside another ministry.
Stating that he joined the Taliban 18 months ago, Nisar said: “We are very happy to be victorious. We have been fighting for 20 years. We want Sharia law and we don’t want it just for Afghanistan.
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“I DON’T LIKE TO SPEAK THE LANGUAGE OF INVASIONS”
Nisar said she didn’t speak English very well and then refused to speak English because she didn’t want to speak the language of the invaders, adding: “I won’t speak English with you because I don’t like it. . “
Nisar continued, “I joined the Taliban because when the Americans came, we had our government, we had our culture, and the Americans came to attack us. Their goal was not al Qaeda. They were pursuing their own interests and wanted to destroy our country. “
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Nisar also said militants under his command have had frequent clashes with British forces in Kandahar and Helmand in recent years.
LESSONS FROM MISTAKES
Using language similar to that of a Taliban spokesperson, Nisar added that the Emirate will learn from mistakes made in the 1990s.
Nisar said: “At that time, we didn’t have the ability to rule the country properly because there was war. Now it will be a little different, but we have Islamic laws.
The rhetoric of “it will be different” has been voiced frequently by senior Taliban figures since day one, but most Kabyle people are not convinced. Although the streets are slowly starting to move, they are still mostly quiet. Especially women are not seen in the middle.
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WHAT DO THEY THINK ABOUT WOMEN’S DEMONSTRATIONS?
Meanwhile, as Farmer was conducting these interviews, a group of women’s rights activists were organizing protests across town. In footage of the demonstration, which was dispersed by Taliban special forces shooting in the air, the women said, “Why are you beating us? she cried. Local television stations also broadcast bloody images of the injury inflicted by the blow to the head of a protester.
Farmer, who questioned Taliban militants in Kabul about the protests, received harsh responses. A young activist from Kapisa standing guard outside the British embassy said: “These women are Westernized, they want a Western government and they oppose Sharia law. Women are highly respected in Islam. I cannot understand what they are protesting.
“THE WEST MUST NOT COME BACK, WE WILL FIGHT FOR 20 MORE YEARS”
Almost all of the activists said they saw the Americans and the British as invaders and infidels, and that it was not possible for soldiers from these countries to stay in Afghanistan. One activist said: “They are infidels and we do not want unfaithful soldiers in our country. They do not respect our law and our culture.
Farmer also pointed out that activists were curious to chat and drink tea with a British journalist. Questioning the activists about the salaries they were receiving from the Taliban, Farmer replied, “We are not fighting for salaries, we are just given food.
“This emirate will live on forever,” one of the activists under Nisar’s command told Farmer, adding, “May the West never come back here again. If they come, we will fight for another 20 years.”
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