Exploring the Ground Reality in Afghanistan vs the Taliban's Claims

Where is Afghanistan headed and what is the ground reality outside Kabul, where the eyes of media don't reach?

2 min read

Kabul is seeing spurts of new defiance against the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan, with protests erupting across the country on Thursday, 19 August, when the country celebrated its 'Independence Day'.

Videos and images from Kabul showed men and women waving the red, green, and black of Afghanistan and chanting “our flag, our pride”, and “God is great.”

Though the Taliban have stated that it has moderated its stance but on Thursday, with open gunfire aimed at the protesters on the streets, shooting near the airport, and a confirmation that Sharia will return, the gap between their words and the ground reality was revealed.

In fact, throughout this week, the world witnessed reports of Taliban fighters brutally beating up Afghanis, assaulting foreign journalists, and preventing people from travelling to the airport.


With mounting fears of what kind of government the Taliban will establish in the days to come, there are also concerns regarding an economic downturn with the US freezing Afghanistan’s foreign reserves and the IMF cutting off access to loans and resources.

In our previous episodes of The Big Story on the Afghanistan crisis, we tried to break down how the Taliban took over the country so easily, what the humanitarian crisis would signal for President Joe Biden’s government, the freedom of Afghan women now that the Taliban have taken over the country, and the mounting geopolitical crisis looming in the south Asian region.

The harrowing developments over the past week beg the following questions:

Where is Afghanistan headed and what is the ground reality outside Kabul where the eyes of international media don’t reach?

To understand this, we spoke with Frud Bezhan, an Afghan journalist with Radio Free Europe/ Radio Liberty who has extensively covered Afghanistan and the Taliban insurgency. Tune in!

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