Thursday, September 16, 2021

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One "peaceful" day in Kabul, residents seeking hope amid frustration


"I am not sure about my future and the future of my children. No one knows what would happen one hour later, or my children can go to school tomorrow," said a Kabul resident.

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The Afghan capital has experienced a relatively peaceful day after the Taliban captured the city, as locals eagerly hoped for lasting peace amid the immense uncertainty.

Kabul, Afghanistan's capital city with a population of some 6 million people, has experienced a relatively peaceful day on Monday compared with the past months as no bomb blasts or gunshots have been reported.

Taliban fighters captured the city on Sunday, ending the war in the violence-battered country as no conflict has been reported over the past 24 hours.

The militant group has warned to deal with iron hand if anyone commits crime including theft or robbery.

Although there is no head of state or government in Afghanistan since the fall of Kabul to the Taliban, the Taliban released a short statement on local media asking residents, including government employees, to go to their offices and continue normal work.

However, like many shops and supermarkets in Kabul, many government department offices, banks and schools remained closed on Monday as the Taliban members are patrolling the city streets either on military vehicles or on foot.

Fearing the eruption of fighting, many people have been scrambling to leave the country and the road leading to the Kabul international airport is full of Afghans including men, women and children attempting to take refuge in other countries.

Meanwhile, Western countries have been evacuating their diplomats from Kabul.

Afghan Taliban fighters stand on a military vehicle in Kabul, capital of Afghanistan, Aug. 16, 2021.

To check mass migration, the civil aviation authority on Monday cancelled all flights, calling on passengers not to come to the Kabul airport until further notice.

Women are rarely seen on Kabul street. If anyone comes out she wears a hijab that covers her face.

"I am not sure about my future and the future of my children. No one knows what would happen one hour later, or my children can go to school tomorrow," whispered Mohammad Aref on Monday.

Afghan Taliban fighters stand on a military vehicle in Kabul, capital of Afghanistan, Aug. 16, 2021.

A Kabul resident who is in his 50s, Aref muttered with sorrow that his daughter is a student of Law Faculty at a private university but she did not attend her class on Monday fearing the new rulers' retribution.

Another man Hamayon told Xinhua about his plan of fleeing the country as the outlook seems bleak for Afghanistan and for himself.

"I try to leave the country maybe today, tomorrow, the day after tomorrow or anytime the fortune sides me," he said.

The 31-year-old man, who served in the national army for nine years, expressed sorrow that he worked for years in the army but the outcome is zero.

"Afghanistan with international support has built 350,000-strong Defense and Security forces but all have been dismantled within days," he said.

"Having security alone is not enough," said another Kabul resident Sufi Mohammad. "In addition to ensuring security, the establishment has to provide job opportunity, respect human rights and dignity for the citizens in society," he said.

Taliban fighters stand beside the belongings of Afghan security soldiers in Kabul, capital of Afghanistan, Aug. 16, 2021.

Published : August 17, 2021

By : Xinhua