Madina Morwat was among scores of Afghan journalists who lost their jobs when dozens of television and radio stations suspended programming after the Taliban captured Kabul last month.
But the 23-year old reporter quickly resumed her career after taking a job at Tolo News, part of Afghanistan’s largest media company Moby Group and a channel that has come to symbolise the rise of liberal media in Afghanistan since the Taliban were first ousted from power following the US-led invasion in 2001. “Many embassies asked if I wanted to leave Afghanistan, but I am committed to work for women and my country,” she said.
The phrases have tripped off the tongues of Taliban for quite some time.
“We’re working to establish an inclusive government that represents all the people of Afghanistan,” promised Taliban leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar when he recently arrived in Kabul to start talks aimed at forming a leadership to move the movement from guns to government.
“We would like to live peacefully,” vowed Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid at the first press conference in the capital after the Taliban suddenly swept into power on 15 August. “We don’t want any internal enemies and any external enemies.”
Judge them by their actions, not their words, has become the mantra of a fast-expanding league of Taliban watchers including Afghans, foreign governments, humanitarian chiefs and political pundits the world over.
But Afghans are watching most closely of all. They have to.
The cabinet “appears primarily designed to prevent internal fractures within the movement, after weeks of heated internal discussions about power sharing” according to Haroun Rahimi, a law professor at the American University of Afghanistan.
The militant Islamist Taliban have named key members of their interim government in Kabul, and no one from outside the group is included. But their totalitarianism will not bring peace, writes DW’s Sandra Petersmann.