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tv   Our World  BBC News  August 18, 2021 1:30am-2:01am BST

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this is bbc news. we will have the headlines until the big
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stories at the top of the hour straight after this programme. 20 years after 9/11 and the invasion of afghanistan, american troops are finally leaving. but since news of the withdrawal, targeted killings and suicide attacks have increased. the taliban are back and gaining ground against government forces. many people fear there will be a return to their brutal regime of the �*90s. the taliban leadership say they have changed and want to work alongside the current government. there was in the past some mistakes that we have learned from. in this two part series, i'll be trying to find out if they're really willing to share power and what is at stake for the people of afghanistan.
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there is no way i can surrender to the taliban. none, no way. afghanistan, 2021. the us withdrawal has left a power vacuum that the taliban is rushing to fill. i'd come to the outskirts of kabul to meet fatima roshanian, the founder of a feminist magazine called nimrokh. at 26, she's one of millions of afghan women who've grown up with freedoms and opportunities gained in the last 20 years.
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the climate of fear that groups like the taliban have created in afghanistan has not stopped her. in the last 20 years, the west has poured trillions into afg hanistan�*s social, political and economic development. some people like fatima have benefitted. but today, these gains seem more fragile than ever.
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already this year, at least seven journalists have been killed in afghanistan and fatima is on multiple lists circulating on afghan social media of people the taliban want to kill. to protect herself and her team, she's moved offices and keeps a low profile.
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the idea that someone who is just fighting for basic rights of women is on a kill list was... she said to me that her mother just rings her and says, are you alive or not, every day. just absolutely devastating. fatima is part of a generation who bet their lives on a promise from the west to protect their values. but in february 2020, the us and the taliban signed a historic peace deal, agreeing to withdraw american troops by mid 2021.
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it's time to end america's longest war. it's time for american troops to come home. the deal was followed by peace talks between the afghan government and the taliban, but despite lengthy negotiations, there has been no progress. i travelled to doha, qatar, to meet with sohail shaheen, a member of the taliban peace negotiation team. prior to 9/11 and the war on terror, he used to live in new york as the taliban's representative to the united nations. tell me about your time in the united states, you lived in flushing, queens — what did you think of new york? i liked the development, the technologies, the cities, the buildings, and also the sense of
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research and hard work and the american people, and also the media. so you could see a partnership with them? yes, sure. because i wanted and still want those things to happen to my people, to my country. so i think they could be good partners. for the last 15 years, shaheen and his family have lived in exile in doha. the lifestyle he leads here is miles away from the battlefields of afghanistan. if you were to return to kabul, how would you govern? there was in the past some mistakes that we have learned from because at that time we were new to the government. to stop education of women and girls. that is not our goal.
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of course, education is their right and it is much needed. and when there is the education there, of course it is they have the right to work. so we want to end this phase of occupation and bring about another government which is acceptable by the people of afghanistan. so it would be one person, one vote? we've seen a number of targeted killings in afghanistan at the moment. the taliban deny that they're involved. so who's behind it? some people who are military people who are fighting against us, we are fighting against them. that's clear. but other people who are the common people, who are the asset
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of this country. it is, i think, no reasons and no rationality to kill them, if i kill them, that means it will damage the whole country. would it be unacceptable to see a public execution in kabul today? as muslim, that would be acceptable not only for me and also for you as a muslim. ..according to my knowledge, though, i'm not a religious scholar, it is very difficult to find proof to stone women. if it is not impossible, but it is very, very difficult. would you have a religious police that would monitor people's behavior?
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they should have a good conduct with the people. sohail shaheen was adamant that the mistakes of the past would not be repeated, but the reality in afghanistan was different. back in kabul, i was meeting a man who'd only talk to me if we concealed his identity. he's one of 18,000 afghans hoping to flee to the united states because of his work with the americans.
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if you had known that this would be how it would end, that the americans would leave and your future would just remain, hanging, would you have joined and become an interpreter? it's estimated more than 50,000 afghans and their families are waiting for their visas to be processed. according to the us state department, the average processing time for an application is almost two years. are you scared about your future?
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the taliban said they won't kill interpreters. but there has been at least one assassination. as they continue to advance the statements made by the leadership in doha were becoming increasingly redundant. that was just a contact who's been communicating with a taliban commanderfrom helmand and we're hoping to meet him and i've just heard that he's ready to speak. not in helmand, though, here in kabul. i mean, what's surprising
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about all of this is quite a well known commander can make his way from helmand to the capital and feel quite comfortable being here. it makes you realise just how much they've infiltrated the city. it's very hot. does he want water? what do you want — do you want the taliban regime to come back into power? or do you think that there should be a power sharing deal with the current government like the discussions that are being had in doha?
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if we talk about law and order and justice, if someone were to steal or commit adultery, what should happen to them? what about girls going to school? can girls go to school? and up until which age?
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but in your district and in the villages that you live and fight, do girls go to school and if so, until what age? do you know that members of the taliban who are in doha are sending their children to school — daughters. they're being educated right through to university. and the schools there are taught by male teachers as well. how do you respond to that?
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but the values of the taliban should be the same. don't you think there's a double standard? if the leadership in doha can make their own private decisions in terms of their own children and families and life, shouldn't the afghan people be able to make their own decisions here in afghanistan? and if there isn't a political resolution to this conflict, are you prepared to take kabul by force?
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mawlana was one of the 5,000 taliban prisoners released by the government as part of a goodwill gesture. since the interview, he's returned to the front lines in helmand, directing 300 fighters. i'd heard two contradicting views from the taliban. i headed to the presidential palace to see the vice president of afghanistan, amrullah saleh. he'd spent his life standing up to the taliban. and i wanted to know what he thought about their increasing power. i spoke to one of the members of the taliban and he said,
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i miss kabul. i miss the mountains, i miss the provinces, i miss the valleys. i mean, don't you think it's right for them to at some point come back? absolutely. tomorrow, but not with their guns and ieds and suicide bombers. as normal individuals, if they want to humanely come and interact with the rest of the afghans, run for office, why not? if they come to dictate, you know, the size of people's beards and their lifestyle, what they cook in the kitchen or what time they wake up, that's not going to happen. the way doha was designed was a big mistake to elevate them, gave them exposure, gave them legitimacy without taking anything from them, we have not taken anything from the taliban. they said to me that they want to come into a position
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where they can power share with fellow muslims. this group in doha, they are a deceptive facade of a very dark reality called the taliban. so in your view, have they changed? no, not only they have not changed, they believe that their stagnation, has brought them a strength. they have become savvier in deceiving but the reality has not changed. is this doha process dead end? we are not retreating from talks because we are not afraid. we have nothing to lose in talks because there is nothing, you know, that relates to us as a clique or a group or a person. we represent values of the society. are you willing to pick up arms again if you have to?
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i am already armed against them. you've got the whole lot. but i mean, if you really had to go head to head? yes, no way. there's no way i can surrender to the taliban. none. no way. with an estimated 180,000 soldiers ready to fight for their country, i had come to an army basejust outside their country, i had come to an army base just outside of kabul to meet some of their newest recruits. 0ne one of the most dangerous job is to have in afghanistan today is to have in afghanistan today is to have in afghanistan today is to be part of the afghan army. at such a turbulent time, foreign forces leaving the country. in the last month, the taliban have made huge advances. they claim to now control most of the country.
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this young man is 18, preparing to be sent to the front line.
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the hopes that people had someone like him, that 20 years on, 18 years on, this would be a very different nation, to think that they have gone back to square one is what is most disturbing about all of this. the people i met in cabo all tell me that they refused to surrender the rights and opportunities that the last 20 years have opened up for them. none of them want to flee afghanistan. but despite what i heard in doha, the taliban are on a heard in doha, the taliban are ona campaign heard in doha, the taliban are on a campaign to bring back their brutal regime. with the
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government adamant to defy a new era of sharia law and the taliban making significant gains, afghans are caught up in a savage war that has taken on a savage war that has taken on a life of its own. hello there. sunshine was limited across the country on tuesday. but we did see some good spells of sunshine for central—southeastern scotland, where temperatures reached close to the mid—20s celsius. for the next few days, though, we hold onto the largely cloudy skies and it's going to feel pretty cool
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for the time of year. we maintain these west—northwest winds across the uk. moisture—laden air rolling in off the atlantic will bring a lot of cloud, thickest of it across northern and western fringes, where we could see some light rain or drizzle. but, again, like tuesday, with some shelter to central eastern scotland, east of the pennines, southeast wales, southwest england, we'll see some good spells of sunshine. the winds quite brisk again particularly across northern and western coastal areas. and those temperatures pretty much where they've been the last few days, high teens for most, but in the sunnier spots, the low 20s once again. now, as we head through wednesday night, it stays rather benign, pretty cloudy for most. there will be the odd spot of light rain and drizzle across northern and western hills. the odd clear spell, too. temperatures no lower than 11—15 celsius, pretty much where they have been the last few nights. so, as we head on into thursday, again, it's a similar story, a lot of cloud around, the odd spit, spot of light rain here and there. a weather front will be pushing into wales and then spreading across parts of england through the day. that will bring some showery bursts of rain. but behind it, skies will tend to brighten up for southwest england
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and wales, and again that could lift temperatures into the low 20s celsius, otherwise, again, it's the high teens. that weather front spreads across eastern england during the first part of friday. and then, we've got the new area of low pressure starting to work its way into western areas. that'll bring some cloudy, wet, breezy weather to northern ireland and maybe western fringes of britain. for most, i think it's another rather cloudy day, but i'm hopeful later in the day, we start to see some sunny spells increasing across the south. that will lift temperatures up into the low to mid 20s celsius, otherwise, again, the high teens for most. this new area of low pressure will slowly work its way in during the start of the weekend, but we start to pick up southerly winds, and that will tap into something much warmer across france into central, southern and eastern parts of england. so, we'll see a brief warm spell to start this weekend with some sunshine around, could see up to 26 celsius or so in the south. that weather front, though, will continue to push its way eastwards bringing some showers, some of which could be heavy and thundery. and many places will see
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that showers during the course of sunday.
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welcome to bbc news — i'm david eades. our top stories... the taliban take centre stage — their leader says the rights of women will be respected as long as they adhere to islamic laws. translation: there | will be nothing against women in our ruling. our people accept our women are muslims. they accept islamic rules. if they continue to live according to sharia, we will be happy. the uk government says up to 20,000 afghans will be resettled in britain in the long term. 5,000 in the coming year. half a million children in desperate need of shelter and drinking water in haiti — after the earthquake which has left nearly 2000 dead. and the trial is due to begin of the singer r kelly — accused of racketeering, bribery and sexual abuse.

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