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School going girls, meeting in Gurdwara and with traders, Taliban now in PR blitz

Afghan girls holding books approach the high school gate, enter the classrooms, and also relax on the lawns, the videos show

Friday August 20, 2021 6:25 PM, ummid.com with inputs from Agencies

Girls in Herat School

Kabul: Amid apprehensions when and how normal life will be restored in Kabul, Herat and other provinces and cities in Afghanistan after their takeover, Taliban on Thursday released about half a dozen videos to allay fear and as part of confidence building measures.

In one of the videos shared by Mohammed Naeem, spokesman of the Political Office of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, girls are seen entering Tajrobawai Girls High School in Herat.

Afghan girls holding books approach the high school gate, enter the classrooms, and also relax on the lawns, the videos show.

In another video, girls said they are happy over resumption of classes and asked the Taliban to provide more security.

Watch Video

“Herat Province: The girls and their teachers are happy to start their studies. They ask the Islamic Emirate to provide more security and safety so that they can study and see their country prosperous”, Nameem captioned the video.

In a video by Al Jazeera and shared by Mohammed Naeem on Twitter, a Taliban delegation is seen talking with Sikhs in Kabul Gurdwara.

"Indians and Sikhs in Kabul"

“The life of Sikhs and Indians in Kabul: The head of their temples in Kabul: We are safe and secure and we do not feel any fear or anxiety. Before that, people were afraid and worried about their lives and money, and now there are no problems. We are assured (sic)”, Naeem captioned the video.

Taliban delegation visited Sikh Gurdwara days after India said "it is ready to welcome Sikhs and Hindus if they want to leave Afghanistan."

In yet another video shared by Naeem, Taliban leaders are seen in a meeting with local traders and assuring them of security and safety while urging them to start normal trade.

“This is your country. This is your people. You have to invest here in your home. We attract investors from abroad and provide them with appropriate investment opportunities. How can we not provide security to you? Let's build our country and build it together and roll up our sleeves. It is time to serve our people and our country”, the accompanying message posted with the video on Twitter said.

"Commercial traffic resumes"

Meanwhile, commercial traffic across Afghanistan’s border with Pakistan at the Spin Boldak/Chaman crossing picked up, traders said, as the shock of the Taliban’s lightning seizure of power began to ease and confidence returned.

Despite the Ashura religious holiday, truckloads of agricultural produce from Kandahar province were driven across the border, a sign that trade was beginning to return to normal, AL Jazeera reported.

“Today, many trucks loaded with fresh fruit (from Afghanistan), including famous ‘Sunder-Khani’ grapes, were cleared at Customs House Chaman,” a senior Custom Officer told the Reuters news agency via WhatsApp.

"Reports of protest"

Taliban released these “confidence building” videos even as reports of protests against them are coming from some parts of the country, including Kabul and Jalalabad.

Protests also erupted in the country after reports that Taliban will replace the Afghan national flag. On Wednesday, Jalalabad became a flashpoint in the battle of the flags, showcasing the clash between competing national identities and ideologies.

Residents in the eastern provinces of Nangarhar, Kunar and Khost on Wednesday publicly rallied under the Afghan national flag, Afghan media reported.

Protests are also reported from Nangarhar and Khost provinces, and there are reports that one demonstrator was killed in clashes between Taliban members and protesters in Jalalabad city.

"Anti-Taliban resistance"

In another development coming from Afghanistan, anti-Taliban resistance is building up in Panjshir province of the country.

Reports said Ahmad Massoud, son of Ahmad Shah Massoud, former Vice-President of Afghansitan Amrullah Saleh and former defence minister General Bismillah Mohammadi are leading the anti-Taliban resistance building up in the province.

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