Former Afghan Minister on Her Escape, Women’s Risks

By The Associated Press
The Associated Press
The Associated Press
August 31, 2021 Updated: August 31, 2021

Former Afghan government minister Nargis Nehan spoke on Monday of the difficult decision she had made to leave her country after the Taliban took over Kabul.

“I was very clear that I wanted to stay in Afghanistan. But with the sudden capture of Kabul by the Taliban, it was a big shock for all of us. And my own driver got shot down by two bullets, and the Taliban took Kabul, and that was a big problem for me and my family and we decided to evacuate,” she told British broadcaster Sky News.

After several trips to the capital’s airport to try and get out of the country, she and her family were eventually evacuated to Norway.

She also spoke of the difficulties she faced at Kabul airport.

“Several times I had to go to the airport with my family, and I was about to lose my father in the crowd.”

After a phone call from Norwegian government officials, Nehan and some members of her family boarded a flight to the country.

“It was very much heartbreaking for me because I wanted to stay, I wanted to be with my people, I wanted to help, but I did not have any other choice,” she said.

Although the Taliban claim they are willing to adopt a more tempered style of leadership, Afghans remain fearful of the Taliban returning to the oppressive rule for which it was once known.

“We want to see how they are forming the government, how inclusive is that going to be and then based on that, people like myself are ready to go back at any point, even if it’s going to be very difficult for us to go back, work with them and help with the reconstruction of Afghanistan,” Nehan said.

There have been sporadic reports of killings and other abuses in the sweep across the country.

“If they want to have support of the different groups of the society, including men, youth, educated, academia, civil society, media, they need to have a representative government. People need to find themselves in Taliban’s government,” Nehan said.

She also hit out at the international community for not doing enough to help stabilize the situation in the country.

The Associated Press
The Associated Press