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The world should not yet engage with the new Taliban government

23 28 67

I left Afghanistan, my beloved country, just a few days after the Taliban took control of Kabul.

I did not want to leave, but I had no choice. Soon after the Taliban assumed control of the capital city, its fighters started to look for me. They showed up at my house (which I had already left in fear of my safety) and harassed my family members and people working for me. They beat up my security guards and violently interrogated people who know me in an effort to find me.

It was obvious that my life was in grave danger, but this was not the reason why I chose to leave the country. I left because I knew that if I stayed, they would come for my family, too.

In 2018, I became the mayor of Maidan Shar, a conservative town in the Wardak province of Afghanistan where the Taliban has widespread support. Since then, I survived several attempts on my life. The Taliban and its supporters did not want to see a young woman in a position of authority, so they tried to intimidate me into leaving my post in every way they could. In late 2020, they killed my father because of the work I do.

When the Taliban took control of the country, I knew the group would not hesitate to hurt other members of my family to get their hands on me. My family is not political, they just want to live their lives in peace. They already sacrificed so much for the choices I made. I had to leave the country to ensure their safety.

Despite all this, the Taliban is now claiming that it has changed. Its leaders insist that under the Taliban’s rule, every Afghan, including working women, journalists, civil rights activists and political opponents, will be safe. They are asking people not to leave Afghanistan and inviting those who had already left to return home. They insist those who were working in government jobs before the Taliban takeover will be allowed to return to their offices.

I do not believe any of this.

Even if I put all of my own bad experiences with them aside, the way........

© Al Jazeera

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