A screengrab from the Vice News documentary
A screengrab from the Vice News documentary
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New Delhi: A short video of the Taliban breaking into laughter on the issue of women’s rights went viral this week as the insurgent group’s takeover of Afghanistan raised fresh fears about how it would impact the lives of Afghan citizens, particularly women.

The video is a year old, drawn from a Vice News documentary aired on the US network ‘ShowTime’. The documentary centres on a team of the media portal that spent five days in Taliban-controlled territory last year.

In the video, a woman journalist is seen asking a group of Taliban insurgents whether they would “still include women’s rights under democracy”, to which one of them responds: “Rights would adhere to Islamic Sharia law”.

The journalist persisted with other questions. “So would you believe in a democratic vote? Would people be allowed to vote in women politicians?” In response, the Taliban militants started laughing, and asked the camera person to stop filming. “It made me laugh,” one of the Taliban members is heard saying.

London-based writer and journalist David Patrikarakos was among those who shared the clip on social media, with his Twitter post garnering over 2.3 million views.

Nadia Momand, a reporter working for the Pashto media platform Enikass Radio, shared the video with the same caption as him.

The video has been reshared by many people with the same caption on Twitter.

With the fall of Kabul to the Taliban Sunday, the insurgent group has now taken over Afghanistan, days before the international forces complete their pullout. Their resurgence has brought back memories of the Taliban’s brutal rule between 1996 and 2001, when women were not even allowed to stir out of the house without a male relative, let alone study or work.

While the Taliban have promised a more inclusive, progressive reign this time, Afghanistan watchers and residents are sceptical. The video appears to spell out these fears.

(Edited by Paramita Ghosh)

Also read: From Mazar to Kabul, I saw Afghanistan fall to Taliban in 10 days


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