A video clip of television anchor surrounded by armed Taliban fighters during a news bulletin on an Afghan television channel has gone viral. The shocking video shows several Taliban fighters with A-47 standing behind a news anchor as he reads out a statement with tension and panic on his face.
The video clip comes with just over a day left before U.S. troops officially withdraw from Afghanistan leaving behind the lives and fates of millions of Afghans in uncertainty. Reports of journalists being targeted have emerged since the Taliban took over Afghanistan on August 15.
The 42-second clip, shared on Twitter by BBC reporter Kian Sharifi and Iranian journalist and activist Masih Alinejad, shows the host of a political debate program reading out a statement from the Taliban, while being surrounded by at least eight Taliban fighters.
The host of the show titled Pardaz, said that the Taliban want the public to "cooperate with it and should not be afraid." "With armed Taliban fighters standing behind him, the presenter of Afghan TV's Peace Studio political debate program says the Islamic Emirate (Taliban's preferred name) wants the public to "cooperate with it and should not be afraid," Sharifi tweeted.
However, the news anchor himself looks afraid and almost shivers while reading out the statement.
That said, only a shot clip of the video has emerged. The anchor reportedly, also had to interview one of the Taliban fighters present in the studio. The said Taliban fighter "presumably outranks the rest of the lot in the studio," Sharifi wrote.
Not Keeping Their Word
The video clip once again proves the extent the Taliban can when it comes to taking charge and ruling the country. Moreover, it is in stark contrast to what the militant group has promised that of allowing free press to operate in the country. That, however, no way was seems to be the case.
Last week, an Afghan reporter working with Tolo News and a cameraman were thrashed by the Taliban in Kabul while they were reporting in the city. Reports have also emerged of Taliban fighters attacking journalists in Kabul and Jalalabad.
Taliban fighters have also been frantically raiding the homes of journalists and their relatives and have also killed one family member of a reporter working for Deutsche Welle (DW), a German media organization.
The U.S. faces a deadline to complete its withdrawal by August 31, after the Biden Administration managed to push back to from the original May 1 deadline agreed between the Taliban and the Trump Administration. However, even then Biden is being slammed by media and politicians over his handling of troop withdrawals from Afghanistan, particularly following a terror attack last week that killed 13 U.S. troops and dozens of Afghan refugees.