After the Taliban came to power for the second time, our wounded homeland drowned in utter darkness but Bamyan has suffered very heavily at the hands of the barbarics- even its soil and stones have not been spared by these terrorists; extreme fear, grief and confusion has gripped the province again. When Taliban entered, it was utter chaos; some were going to the bus stops to go to Kabul or other districts and cars were very scarce and the fares had hiked to 5000 Afghanis (55 USD). Many people did not have the money to travel and were running towards the mountains. It was very agonizing to see cars speeding away and children crying while running after their parents. All the shops had closed and even the busiest markets were completely shut down and business was at a standstill. Extreme poverty was clamoring and everywhere children were seen holding their cans of burning incense and seeking alms, with hopelessness in their eyes.
It has been two months since these terrorists came in power and the situation is still not normal. The faces of residents appear very disappointed, scared and distraught and they are forced to come to the market. The market is empty and silent and very few women can be spotted, they mostly try to stay home. The people of Bamyan still remember the destruction of the Buddha statues and seeing the dirty and disgusting faces of Taliban around these statues remind them of the gloomy days of 1990s. These 2000-year-old Buddha statues were called “Salsal” and “Shamama” and on March 9, 2001, Taliban fired and eventually bombarded it in a matter of three days. Seeing the Taliban flag hovering and their cars freely entering this area, we remember those days and know that sooner or later whatever remains will be destroyed as well, in exchange of very little money.
In Bamyan women played an active role in all areas of life and the city was vibrant with music and cultural festivals where women and girls participated enthusiastically. But today it is a very silent and gloomy city...
I went to the handicrafts market which was always full of local and foreign tourists and the shopkeepers were mostly women with happy and smiling faces, warmly welcoming the guests and selling their handicrafts. This time, it was empty and only two shops were open. One of these shopkeepers was an old woman who was shivering with cold and her hopeless eyes were locked at the entrance gate waiting for a customer but there was none.
This is Khadija, she lost her husband some years ago and is the sole breadwinner of her family. Out of misery and desperation, she is forced to keep her shop open so her children do not die of starvation, even at the risk of being beaten by the Taliban. She says that the shop's rent and the items are a burden for her. The sadness and misery of Khadija is an example of hundreds of Afghan women who fear the death of their children by starvation.
I went to the Titanic market which was always full of people, mostly girls with short shirts and some with just a scarf around their necks who came for shopping. Today, I could not spot a single girl and there were only a few women clad in their burqas who shopped hurriedly and apprehensively so they could leave quickly.
This situation is also evident in the districts of Bamyan, for example in Yakawlang, most of the warehouses of the NGOs (موسسات ) and the district itself was looted by the local gangsters and today they have joined the Taliban. The local people have locked their homes out of fear and many have fled to the mountains. Yakawlang bears witness of the brutal massacre by the Taliban in the 1990s and like other districts, the infamous Jehadi commanders who are hated by the people are now representatives for the Taliban and are already suppressing their opponents, looting and seeking vengeance for personal enmities.
M.Q., a resident of Yakawlang was called for a meeting in the district centre by Mohammadi, infamously known as Commander Sorkha (he was a former commander for the Hizb-i-Wahdat who has now joined the Taliban) to sort out a land dispute they had a long time ago. Instead, his hands were tied and he was beaten severely. He has still not fully recovered and spent a long time in the Bamyan hospital. One of the relatives of M.Q says:
“ Sometime ago, the commanders of Hizb-i-Wahdat were encouraging people to join the resistance against Taliban and today they have joined the Taliban to stiffle the innocent residents and are threatening to beat or kill them.”
Many residents of Yakawlang could not leave their homes out of fear but are now forced to step out in search of food. Even though the Taliban are at a long distance, they walk cautiously around them, fearing another massacre in Yakawlang.
The situation is similar in the Punjab district as well. Before the arrival of the Taliban, a number of thieves and gangsters rushed to loot people's belongings, pretending to be 'greeters' of the Taliban. In Punjab, Maulvi Mohammad Ibrahim who is a famous thief and ruffian has now been selected as the district governor by the Taliban. The people's hatred has only deepened for these Taliban criminals because they claim to be representatives of the local residents but have sided with the murderers. M.A, one of the residents of this district states:
“I was young in the previous rule of the Taliban but when my parents told stories of those times, I used to think of Taliban as some other creatures with horns and tails. Today when I see the gangsters and looters of my village joining the Taliban, I will tell my children that a Talib is in our neighborhood and is someone who survives by stealing food from our tables. In other words, the oppressor is always one of us and betrays his own people first.”R, another resident of Punjab says:
“All the calamities had to strike us this year: the drought, the Taliban, and the closure of shops- we are unable to sell our small produce. The produce is not even enough for the approaching winter. ----- UNABLE TO TRANSLATE HIGHLIGHTED SENTENCE. Taliban can do whatever they please by using force and often take things from the shops without paying. For example some days ago, Jafferi and Bolaghi, two men who sell petrol, asked the Taliban to pay for the 150 litres of petrol they took but instead they were beaten brutally by the militia of Maulvi Mohammad Ibrahim, famously known as 'Shokhak' who is now appointed as the district governor by the Taliban.”
«امسال تمام بدبختیها یکباره بر ما نازل شده: از یک طرف خشکسالی، از یک طرف طالب، و از طرفی هم بدبختیها و بسته بودن دکاکین و به فروش نرسیدن حاصلات اندک. حتا برای زمستان پیشرو حاصلات کافی نیست. و طالبان تا هنوز دو دور عشر به شکل پول نقد جمعآوری
کردهاند. طالبان هر چیزی را که بخواهند با زور و بدون پرداخت پول از دکانها با خود میبرند. مثلا چندی قبل جعفری و بلاغی دو تن از تیلفروشان بعد از این که خواهان پول یک صدوپنجاه لیتر تیل برده شده خویش از طالبان شدند، توسط ملیشههای مولوی محمد ابراهیم معروف به شوخک که والسوال پنجاب از سوی طالبان تعیین شده، شدیدا مورد لت و کوب قرار گرفتهاند.»
As each day passes of the medieval rule of these Taliban lackeys in our ill-fated nation, the oppressed people of Afghanistan are falling deeper into the abyss of poverty and misery. In these 20 years, the US and the so-called human rights organizations, have done nothing basic or fundamental to improve people's lives and that is why after the US withdrawal, the whole economy of Afghanistan collapsed in less than a day and all their 'accomplishments' disappeared. Our people should remember than no foreign power will never bring peace and stability and it is only attainable through our own struggle and sacrifices.
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