Hundreds of Afghans, mostly women, took to the streets of Kabul on Tuesday in an anti-Pakistan rally in which they chanted slogans against Islamabad and ISI. However as the protests intensified in the capital, the Taliban opened fire on the rally.
According to Asvaka News, the Taliban opened fire on protesters gathered near the Presidential Palace in Kabul. The demonstrators were marching towards the Kabul Serena Hotel where the Pakistan ISI DG has been staying since last week. Cracking down on the anti-Pakistan rally, Talibani militants were seen beating up women and thrashing them brutally with sticks to disperse the crowd.
Earlier, videos shared by local media reports showed hundreds of Afghan men and women chanting slogans against Pakistan and showing placards on the streets of Kabul. The protests then spread to the Balkh province in the north of Afghanistan, where hundreds took to the streets.
As anger mounted over Pakistan's aid to the Taliban, the protesters called for “azaadi” (freedom), “death to Pakistan” and “death to ISI.” Women in niqabs and burqas hit the streets of Kabul raising anti-Pakistan slogans. Reports also claimed that several women were locked up in a bank's basement to prevent them from joining the protests.
On Saturday, the chief of Pakistan’s intelligence agency ISI, which has a significant influence on the Taliban, made a surprise visit to Kabul, amidst efforts to finalise a government in the war-torn country. Lt Gen Hameed was the first high-ranking foreign official to visit Afghanistan since the Taliban's takeover of Kabul last month. The Taliban has assured Islamabad that Afghan territory will not be used against Pakistan.
Pakistan has been a strong supporter of the Taliban over the 20 years of the US war on Afghanistan and has not shied away from aiding the insurgent group in terrorising the civilians. The Taliban have often referred to Pakistan their “second home” while also inviting the country for its government formation ceremony expected soon.
Former Afghanistan MP Shukriya Barakzai lashed out at the Taliban for their cruel behaviour against men and women fighting for justice on the streets of Kabul. Questioning the ISI chief's visit to the capital, she said Pakistan should be accountable more than the Taliban for the Afghan crisis.
"Pakistan does not sympathize with Afghanistan. They would be happy if Afghans fight each other. Pakistani groups are just militants. Violence is the only thing they have. The country is in a very difficult situation," Barakzai told Republic TV on Tuesday.
The former Parliamentarian said she is in touch with the people of Panjshir, the sole free province of Afghanistan fighting the Taliban's brutal regime. Barakzai said she sympathizes with the people of Panjshir and respects their courage and values. Stating the need for civil rights to be recognized globally, she called on the nations to sanction Pakistan and hold the country for its misdeeds in her country.