After the resistance force commander, Ahmad Massoud, asked the people of Afghanistan to protest against the Taliban’s rule, hundreds of residents came out on the street in Kabul on September 8 and shouted anti-Taliban and anti-Pakistan slogans.
Outlook spoke to a young protestor in Kabul who narrated how the Taliban opened fire at the protestors and arrested thousands of men and women who were marching towards the Pakistani embassy at Karte Parwan.
When and how did you decide to assemble at the Pakistan embassy in Kabul?
After we came to know that Ahmad Massoud has made an announcement to oppose the Taliban rule, we decided to carry out a huge demonstration from the Pakistan embassy in Karte Parwan in Kabul. We were communicated through phone and many groups were created on WhatsApp. According to the initial plan, about 2500 people were supposed to assemble at 9 am on September 8 but only 500 could reach the spot and about 2000 people were arrested on the way to the embassy.
Where were you people supposed to march from the Embassy? How many Talibani militants were there to stop the protestors?
About 20 of us planned to March towards Serena Hotel. We were informed that the head of the Pakistani intelligence group, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief, General Faiz Hameed is staying there. It is a high-security area but we decided to express our anger against Pakistan by marching towards the hotel and raising slogans against Pakistan.
When you reached, did things go according to your plan?
No, in the morning when around 500 people assembled and started shouting slogans, the Taliban opened fire at some protestors. I was one of them. They fired at me but the bullets missed me and I survived. We all ran to take shelter and luckily, no one was hurt. Then, they started firing in the air to scare the other demonstrators. Many ran but we were determined to reach the hotel. I along with my friends re-assembled at another nearby location. We decided to carry on our protest up to the hotel. We contacted another group who were also supposed to reach the hotel from the Kabul Markaz side but that didn’t work out as most of them were either arrested or had run away.
What happened to those who were arrested?
I spoke to some of them in the evening and learnt that they were still under arrest. A friend shared a video in which a lot of women have been kept in the basement of a building. Many such unverified videos are doing the rounds and spreading fear.
Why are the people of Kabul against Pakistan?
Pakistan is openly supporting the Taliban and providing arms, ammunition and its army to fight against the resistance forces in Panjshir valley. We have learned that Pakistan has sent its forces to fight against the forces led by Ahmad Massoud. He has said that Pakistan has sent its air force and they are bombing Panjshir. We believe Ahmad Massoud more than anyone else. He is our only hope. We hate Pakistan. We will oppose its interference in our country as much as can.
Will you hold more demonstrations? Aren’t you scared of being shot at by the Taliban?
What options we are left with? Tell me. We have planned to carry out more and more protests and demonstrations to show our support and solidarity to Ahmad Massoud.