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I giorni della disfatta di Kabul: il racconto verità di Abdurraziq Ekhtiarbig

Il giornalista del quotidiano “Subhekabul”: ho perso il lavoro e il mio Paese, costretto a fuggire perché mi occupavo dei crimini dei talebani contro le donne

As usual in the morning meeting, the daily responsibilities determine for our colleagues in Subhekabul newspaper. We had to cover successive fall of provinces by Taliban, plus prepare reports from the battlefields. Our day started out normal; but that day was not supposed to end normally. What happened that day for the people of Afghanistan, was unbelievable and convulsive for all of us and the world.

“Taliban have entered to Kabul.” We were surprised by hearing this news from our local sources. I looked at my watch; it showed around 9:30 AM-Sunday, August 15th. This fact was not acceptable not only for me, but also to none of my colleagues and the people of Afghanistan. However, till that time, 22 out of the 34 provinces had fallen by the Taliban.

The news of the Taliban’s arrival in Kabul soon spread throughout the city, so the people tried to go to their homes in every possible way. As the news- the news Kabul fallen by the Taliban-became more and more serious, I called Mohammed Amiri, pres Ghani’s deputy spokesman, and asked him whether Kabul would really fall by Taliban,but he responded with complete confidence:”No”, Kabul will never fall- according to agreement, Taliban are not going to enter to Kabul city.

In addition, Afghan ministries of defense and interior have repeatedly issued separate newsletters stressing that Taliban will not enter Kabul, so the people should keep calm.

As the time passed, the situation became more chaotic, in this case, the Editor-in-chief of the newspaper permit the colleagues to go to their homes.

Two colleagues and I stayed in office to cover the events. Around 2:00 PM, some of the social media users wrote that President Ghani left the country. An escape that left a nation and a country in utter despair. An escape that annihilated twenty years sacrifice and acheivememt of Afghan people.

Simultaneously with the confirmation of this news, Taliban fighters entered in Kabul city. In the evening of that day, they captured presidential palace and raised their flag instead of Afghanistan Flag.

After the collapse of Afghanistan, life in the country has changed, governmental offices closed and also the private institutions were temporarily forced to cease their operation. In addition, Television programs Mostly lost their normal course and newspaper publication were disrupted-the media only covered the news of Afghanistan collapse, which was mostly in support of the Taliban.

In this memo, I don’t want to talk about the causes and consequences of the fall; but I would like to say that this event happened almost three months after, USA announced end of their 20 years military presence in Afghanistan, a presence that cost 2.26 trillion dollars. In addition, according to US Brown University, in the past 20 years, 241,000 people have killed in Afghanistan. This includes 47,247 civilians and 69,000 members of Afghan Army and police. Plus 84,191 Taliban fighters also killed during these times.

This fall comes as afghan citizens have made great strides in the areas of education, health and women rights over the past 20 years. Life expectancy had risen, the maternal mortality rate has halved and women have high presence in the political areas.

It’s worth mentioning that at the same time with the fall of Kabul, there was lots of chaos, Afghan people were trying to get out of Afghanistan in any way possible. Nearly all the government employees have resigned, and many businesses have been shutdown due to regime change and confusion. The banking system has been severely damaged. Meanwhile the media and journalists were/are increasingly at risk. According to the latest report by the international federation of journalists who published in September, 153 media outlets forced to cease their activities after the collapse of Afghanistan.in the same time 7000 media workers affected by the Taliban. Most women journalist lost their jobs.

All these factors caused that most of Afghanistan citizens, especially the vulnerable, try to leave the country, some were able to reach a safe place by using military helicopters, and some other died to reach Kabul airport. Tens of thousands more returned home in despair. Like other vulnerable people, and especially as a journalist who has spent five years of his life as a journalist with thousands of difficulties, I was forced to leave my job and my country.

I and thousands of other Afghan citizens left our country while our families and loved ones stayed there, and the Taliban may endanger their lives at any moment due to their violent ideology and sense of revenge.

Abdurraziq Ekhtiarbig