Speaking to Katie Couric Media on Tuesday, an Afghan woman identified only as Saida gave her firsthand account of things as the Taliban takes control of Afghanistan, following the abdication of the country’s entire government ahead of the full withdrawal of U.S. military forces.
Saida, Couric Media said, is currently hiding out in Kabul, which fell to the Taliban over the weekend. She explained that “the Taliban are going to each house and ask the female if they work with the government or if they work with media, and where are they working. And for me that is terrifying. Because for me as a woman to work in international organization, and also my other siblings that also work with the government.”
It freaked me out that we don’t know why first, they want to make a list. And second, I don’t know their intentions,” she added. “So far they’ve shown themselves that they’re peaceful, that they’ve changed their minds, they’re better. But there’s no guarantee. How will I be able to trust it… how can I be assured that they’re going to remain like this?”
Saida described the uncertain situation in Kabul currently, saying that at night she can hear gunshots and other signs of apparent violence, this despite the fact that there are checkpoints throughout the city. “They don’t stop the cars,” Saida explained, “it’s like they’re there for the security purposes or something.” She also said Taliban soldiers are carrying rocket launchers as they patrol the city’s streets.
Saida also described the difficulty of escaping Afghanistan, due to closed borders and visas suspended, and spiking airfare prices. She note that today Pakistan opened its border with Afghanistan. However, Saida says she doesn’t trust the Taliban’s assurances of safe passage for anyone who wants to leave. Saida also described “chaos” at airports and the confiscation of personal items and mobile phones by Taliban forces.
She speculated that perhaps the fact that the current Taliban leadership wants acceptance from international governments might mean “they want to show their tame side? But what if they have the power and they change their mind?”
Ultimately, Saida said she feels “anger and disappointment” over the likelihood that “all the development that happened in the city is going to get ruined.”
She also expressed scorn for the country’s former government. “We were betrayed from our government. I’m so frustrated and mad… I don’t even give a damn of how it’s going to be.”
“We don’t even know if tomorrow we’re going to be able to live or not,” Saida concluded.
Watch the whole clip on Instagram.