By Rasool shahzad
As we entered August 2021, the Taliban were taking over Afghan provinces one after another, fears and panics gripped all the people. No one expected the Taliban to be able to dominate the whole country so easily. By 15 August, the Taliban reached Kabul gates. I was at my workplace; my friends were calling me to run away because the Taliban entered Barchi in the west of Kabul and clashes were underway.
I received many conflicting reports. Finally, decided to leave the office. I do not remember the exact time, but it was about noon when I left the office for home. I arrived at the Pul-e Surkh area where it was a meeting place for cultural figures, poets, writers, young people, and artists. However, the cafes were deserted and so quiet that I panicked, took a taxi immediately, and went to Dawakhana square west of Kabul. When I arrived there, people were fleeing. Panics gripped all over Kabul but was felt heavily in the west of Kabul as it is the center of Shiites population. Pul-e Sukhta, which used to have hundreds of passenger cars, was empty that day.
when I got home a thick smoke appeared from the roof. I thought a rocket or a mortar must have hit the roof. I hurried in and ran to the roof. There, I encountered a very strange and unexpected scene.
Murtaza (names have been changed), the house owner, and Ali our neighbor were employees of the Ministry of Defense. Ali and Murtaza were burying their military uniforms, documents, and ID cards inside a container. Seeing the scene, I asked them why they are doing so?
“The Taliban are going to begin a house-to-house search and will take revenge if they find military uniforms or documents, so, we destroy all documents and anything related to being in the military,” said Ali.
A woman named Seddiqa, who was also our neighbor and an employee of the Ministry of Defense, buried her uniforms and documents, too. Morteza’s mother, who owned the house, did not know that Seddiqa was a military member till that day. She slammed Seddiqa with hatred, saying, “Why didn’t you tell me that you are a military service member? If I had known from the beginning, I would never let you rent this place.”
These incidents occurred just before the Taliban rushed into the capital Kabul. Minutes later, I read the Taliban statement, saying their forces would not enter Kabul without permission and were stopped behind the gates. That day, former President Ashraf Ghani fled with millions of dollars and the Taliban entered Kabul.
With the arrival of the Taliban, fears and panic attacks were increasing every minute. Everyone thought that the Taliban are massacring people. The day after the fall of Kabul, bread was not found in bakeries, food prices have skyrocketed, and this rise continues till today.