Afghan pop star Aryana Sayeed says India 'true friend', slams Pakistan

Aryana Sayeed also expressed her dismay at the way former Afghan President Ashraf Ghani escaped from the country and called him a "coward".
Afghan pop star Aryana Sayeed. (ANI)
Afghan pop star Aryana Sayeed. (ANI)
Published on Aug 24, 2021 01:35 PM IST
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By | Edited by Sohini Goswami, New Delhi

Afghanistan's famous pop star, Aryana Sayeed, who had escaped from Afghanistan after the Taliban took Kabul, has expressed her gratitude towards Indians for extending help to her fellow citizens even, while blaming Pakistan for the mess in the war-torn country and empowering the Islamic militant group.

"I do blame Pakistan. Over the years, we have seen videos, seen evidence that Pakistan is behind empowering the Taliban. Every time our government touches the Taliban, the identification reveals him to be a Pakistani person. So it is very obvious that I (would) blame them and hope that they would back off and would not interfere in the politics of Afghanistan anymore," Sayeed was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

She further said the Taliban troops were being instructed and trained by Pakistan. "They are being instructed by Pakistan, their bases are in Pakistan where they get their training. I hope the international community first cuts off their funds and doesn't offer funds to Pakistan for funding the Taliban."

Also read | Afghan pop star Aryana Sayeed leaves Kabul for Istanbul after Taliban take over

Speaking from an undisclosed location, the pop star, who broke multiple taboos in 2015 singing at a stadium, urged the global community to find a lasting solution for peace in the conflict-ridden nation.

She also urged the Taliban to treat civilians in a more humane way. "I just hope that they will think about humanity. They should not treat innocent people the way they did 20 years ago," she added.

During the Taliban's rule in Afghanistan between 1996 and 2001, brutal floggings, amputations and public executions were commonplace. Women were largely confined to their homes and death penalty was a norm for offences like adultery and homosexuality.

Lauding the Indian government's efforts in Afghanistan, Sayeed said India was "true friend". "India has always been good to us. They have been a true friend, they have been very helpful and kind to our people, even refugees. Afghans who have been in India before have always spoken highly of the nation, its people. We are grateful to India," she added.

"On behalf of Afghanistan, I want to express my utmost gratitude to India and I want to say thank you. Over the years we have realised that the only good friend in the neighborhood we have is India," she said.

She also expressed her dismay at the way former Afghan President Ashraf Ghani escaped from the country leading to the fall of the West-backed elected government and smooth seizure of power by Taliban. Calling Ghani a "coward", Sayeed said, “He left Afghanistan in the hands of a bunch of Pakistanis. He let down our people, our country, our armed forces and military. How could we fight without any leaders?"

"I was very sad and pissed off with him for what he did. The day we were leaving Afghanistan on August 15, he was still giving speeches promising people that everything will be alright. But within the next few hours he disappeared," she added.

She further praised the efforts of Afghanistan's "acting" President Amrullah Saleh and Ahmad Massoud, son of legendary resistance leader Ahmad Shah Massoud, for challenging the Taliban regime from the Panjshir valley. "Whatever is happening now in Panjshir, it is very brave of them. Appreciate that but at the same time, I fear Afghanistan will go back to civil war which is scary. We have been through that and I don't want Afghanistan to go through that once again, I am really concerned," said Sayeed.

She also took a dig at international powers for leaving Afghanistan in the middle of nowhere. "I mean look at all these superpower countries who initially went there and they said our reason of going there is to get rid of Al Qaeda, get rid of Taliban and then after being there for 20 years and spending millions and millions of dollars, lives of all those soldiers lost there, suddenly they decided to leave Afghanistan and come out and this is something so shocking to me," Sayeed said.

(With agency inputs)

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