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The Taliban Takeover, One Year Later

The Daily

The New York Times

News, Daily News

4.597.8K Ratings

🗓️ 16 August 2022

⏱️ 23 minutes

🧾️ Download transcript


One year ago this week, when the Taliban retook control of Afghanistan, they promised to institute a modern form of Islamic government that honored women’s rights. That promise evaporated with a sudden decision to prohibit girls from going to high school, prompting questions about which part of the Taliban is really running the country. Guest: Matthieu Aikins, a writer based in Afghanistan for The New York Times and the author of “The Naked Don’t Fear the Water: An Underground Journey with Afghan Refugees.”

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From the New York Times, I'm Natalie Ketroa. This is the Daily.


One year ago this week, when the Taliban retook control of Afghanistan, it promised to


institute a moderate form of Islamic government that honored women's rights. But that promise


evaporated with its decision to prohibit young women from going to school.


Today, my colleague Matthew Eakins on what led to that decision and what it reveals about


which part of the Taliban is really running Afghanistan.


It's Tuesday, August 16th.


Matt, you were in Afghanistan a year ago as the Taliban took over. Remind us what our


expectations were at the time for how things might play out.


Well, I can remember last summer as the previous Afghan government's forces started to collapse


around the country as US troops withdrew. There was this mounting sense of panic in Kabul.


The Taliban were going to come in. They were going to arrest and kill people who had worked


with the foreigners. There would be a return to the 90s where they were whipping women


and men without beards in the streets. There would just be this blood bath, this brutal


repression. At the same time, the Taliban were promising that they would not kill people


if they surrendered. That was a big factor behind their success. That's why they were able


to take so much territory so quickly. That was one of the reasons why me and my housemate


decided to stay in report on the fall of Kabul.


I remember you came on the show and you had interviewed the spokesman for the Taliban


right after the takeover. It sounded like he was trying to reassure you and maybe the


world that all of those fears wouldn't actually come to pass.


That's right. I sat down with Zabiyol Ahmadjahid and he was trying to show a new face of


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