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Beheshta Arghand TOLO news channel, interview Mawlawi Abdulhaq Hemad

Female Afghan television anchor makes headlines after conducting an interview with a Taliban official.

The adamant The Taliban maintained its charm offensive Tuesday, allowing a female anchor at a television station to interview a spokesman, who then expressed surprise that “people are afraid” of the ultra-violent terrorists.

Beheshta Arghand, a TOLO news station presenter, grilled Mawlawi Abdulhaq Hemad in the studio about the situation in Kabul and house-to-house searches two days after rampaging Taliban extremists overthrew the government.

The interview on the country's first 24-hour news network was a remarkable sight in light of the Taliban's restriction of women's rights during their leadership of the war-torn country until the US-led invasion following 9/11.

Female Afghan news anchor Beheshta Arghand interviewed Taliban representative Mawlawi Abdulhaq Hemad live on air. During the interview, Hemad extolled the virtues of senior leader Mulla Yaqoob, the son of Taliban founder Mullah Omar. Afghan women gather today to demand the protection of Afghan women’s rights in front of the presidential palace in Kabul, Afghanistan. A woman yells for her family to hurry up as displaced Afghans from the northern provinces are evacuated from a makeshift IDP camp in Share-e-Na
Beheshta Arghand, a female Afghan news anchor, conducted a live interview with Taliban representative Mawlawi Abdulhaq Hemad.

The majority of older Afghans vividly recall the Taliban's pre-9/11 Islamist rule, which included draconian restrictions on women, amputations, and public executions prior to the group's ouster by the US-led invasion.

“The whole world now accepts the Taliban as the country's legitimate authorities. I am still astounded that people are terrified of the Taliban,” Hemad reportedly told her.

“We are grateful to Allah that we have achieved a desired aim for which our people have been slaughtered – it is a fortunate scenario in that not more than 50 people have been killed during this entire transition and war,” he told Reuters.

“That is why the scenario is so positive,” the media team member stated.

Hemad continued the conversation by extolling the virtues of senior Taliban leader Mulla Yaqoob, the son of founder Mullah Omar.

Hemad lauded the characteristics of senior Taliban leader Mulla Yaqoob, the son of Taliban founder Mullah Omar, during the interview.
Hemad lauded the characteristics of senior Taliban leader Mulla Yaqoob, the son of Taliban founder Mullah Omar, during the interview.

“His comments hold power for the Taliban, and he stated that the Taliban should avoid causing disturbance among the populace, which was a comfort to the entire Afghan population,” he asserted on the show. “Until today, the Taliban have caused no trouble, not even to 1% of the Mujahedeen in the country.”

Saad Mohseni, director of the Moby Group, which owns TOLO news, responded to a woman's interview with a Taliban official on Twitter.

“It would have been unthinkable two decades ago when they were in power,” Mohseni wrote.

Meanwhile, the CEO of Ariana News, another 24-hour news network in Afghanistan, mocked the Taliban by releasing a photograph of its own female anchor in action.

“We are here to keep you updated on the newest news. “Remain with us,” the broadcaster stated, according to I News in the United Kingdom.

Afghan women gathered in front of the presidential palace in Kabul, Afghanistan, today to demand the protection of Afghan women's rights.
Afghan women gathered in front of the presidential palace in Kabul, Afghanistan, today to demand the protection of Afghan women's rights.

Between 1996 and 2001, the Taliban forbade women and girls from working or attending school. Women were also required to hide their faces and be accompanied outside their homes by a male relative.

Under the legendary kings, women convicted of adultery were routinely stoned and even executed.

Homira Rezai, who was raised in Afghanistan until the age of 13 and now resides in the United Kingdom, told the BBC's "Woman's Hour" that extremists were already compiling a list of female targets.

“I received an information from Kabul just an hour ago that they are looking house to house for women who were activists, bloggers, or YouTubers, or any woman who played a role in the growth of civil society in Afghanistan,” she told I News.

As displaced Afghans from northern regions are evacuated from a makeshift IDP camp in Share-e-Naw park to various mosques and schools, a woman screams for her family to hurry up.
As displaced Afghans from northern regions are evacuated from a makeshift IDP camp in Share-e-Naw park to various mosques and schools, a woman screams for her family to hurry up.

Despite rising misgivings, Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid swore Tuesday to respect women's rights - but within Islamic law's parameters.

Mujahid also stated that the Taliban desired private media to "remain independent," albeit with extremely limited freedoms. He emphasized the importance of journalists "not working against national ideals" and vowed that the insurgents will secure the country.

He reiterated that the Taliban sought no vengeance and that everyone has been pardoned, regardless of whether they collaborated with the prior administration or with foreign governments or troops.

The interview was a notable departure from the Taliban's previous regulation.
The interview was a notable departure from the Taliban's previous regulation.

“We tell you that nobody will knock on their doors and inquire as to why they assisted,” he asserted.

Earlier Tuesday, the Taliban extended their own olive branch, declaring a "amnesty" across Afghanistan and encouraging women to join their government.

The militants stated that they would provide "amnesty" to anyone who assisted the Afghan government or foreign forces.

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