After Taliban breached the capital city of Kabul and undertook the control of Afghanistan barring the Panjshir valley, many thought that the ordinary Afghans would quietly resign themselves to the misery fate had in store for them. However, images and videos of protests against the Kalashnikov wielding Talibs have started emerging on social media platforms, suggesting that Afghans are not dropping the towel just yet, despite the international community leaving it to fend for itself.
Yesterday (August 19) Afghanistan celebrated its Independence Day after gaining freedom from British control in 1919. As a result, patriotic Afghans took to the streets to protest against the barbarians of the Taliban. Protests broke out all over the country with the epicentre being Kabul. A social media video showed a crowd of men and women in Kabul waving black, red, and green national flags whilst shouting “Our flag, our identity,”
Independence day protest in #kabul. Women and girls, men and boys screaming LONG LIVE #Afghanistan OUR NATIONAL FLAG IS OUR IDENTITY! They marched past #Taliban with some Talibs screaming back at protestors, waving their guns at them but finally the protestors passed. pic.twitter.com/yutJcmstAP
— Jordan Bryon (@jordan_bryon) August 19, 2021
Crowds in Kabul on Independence Day shouting:
Our flag is our identity. https://t.co/PuS0QExzin
— Malali Bashir (@MalaliBashir) August 19, 2021
The Taliban have their own white flag with Islamic sayings on it and few protesters across cities replaced it with the national flag of Afghanistan. It is pertinent to note that at least two people were killed on Thursday in the Afghan city of Asadabad after Taliban fighters fired on people waving the national flag at an Independence Day rally.
Jalalabad is the traditional hub of annual Independence Day celebrations in Afghanistan and thus protestors knew the symbolism of taking down Taliban flags in the region. However, the moderate Taliban, as being sold to the public by the liberal media open fired and unleashed its bloodlust.
News Presenter Muslim Shirzad, TOLO News, also took to Twitter to share a video of protestors near the ‘Presidential Palace’ where Talibanis first dropped anchor to assert their dominance.
He tweeted, “Protesters near to “Presidential Palace” in Kabul, holding “Afghanistan’s flag. They are chanting “Long live Afghanistan/Death to Pakistan,”
Protesters near to “Presidential Palace” in Kabul, holding “Afghanistan’s flag. They are chanting “Long live Afghanistan/Death to Pakistan”. pic.twitter.com/NAbdhM90tY
— Muslim Shirzad (@MuslimShirzad) August 19, 2021
Similarly, in the Nangarhar province, protestors took to the street and urged the Taliban to not change the flag of Afghanistan. Shirzad tweeted, along with the video, “Nangarhar – Hundreds of people raised “Afghanistan’s Flag” urging the Taliban to respect and not change it.
Nangarhar – Hundreds of people raised “Afghanistan’s Flag” urging the Taliban to respect and not change it. pic.twitter.com/U0PBTvy4mS
— Muslim Shirzad (@MuslimShirzad) August 18, 2021
As reported by TFI, it’s not only the common Afghans who are showing resistance against the Taliban. Vice President Amrullah Saleh who has declared himself as the ‘Caretaker President’ after Ashraf Ghani fled the country is strengthening forces in the Panjshir valley to come after the terrorist outfit.
Saleh took to Twitter to declare, “Clarity: As per d constitution of Afg, in absence, escape, resignation or death of the President the FVP becomes the caretaker President. I am currently inside my country & am the legitimate caretaker President. Am reaching out to all leaders to secure their support & consensus.
Clarity: As per d constitution of Afg, in absence, escape, resignation or death of the President the FVP becomes the caretaker President. I am currently inside my country & am the legitimate care taker President. Am reaching out to all leaders to secure their support & consensus.
— Amrullah Saleh (@AmrullahSaleh2) August 17, 2021
Reportedly, Saleh alongside Ahmad Massoud, the son of the late legendary anti-Taliban commander Ahmad Shah Massoud appears to have retaken Charikar in Parwan, which if true, will put them within striking distance of the massive Bagram airport complex.
Recapturing Charikar could enable Saleh to land militia of Uzbek leader Abdul Rashid Dostum’s reinforcements from Uzbekistan. A strategically important road passes through Charikar via the Salang Tunnel, which connects Kabul with Mazar-i-Sharif, the largest city in northern Afghanistan and once held by Dostum.
Taliban might have organised itself cohesively after fighting against the American troops for 20-odd years, but the Afghan populace has also grown to cherish and fight with its life for civil liberties. Unlike the past where Afghans folded easily, the Taliban is facing stiff resistance this time around. The Afghans are willing to put down their lives but do not want to go back to the medieval, dark, sombre era of 1996-2001.