Taliban open fire to disperse anti-Pakistan march in Kabul: Reports
Taliban gunmen on Tuesday opened fire to disperse demonstrators holding a protest march in Kabul against what they alleged was “meddling” by Pakistan in Afghanistan’s affairs. According to news agency AFP, around 70 people, mostly women, protested outside the Pakistani embassy in the Afghan capital, raising slogans against the neighbouring country.
Saad Mohseni, the executive editor of Afghanistan’s largest media company Moby Group, took to Twitter to share a video of what he said was this anti-Pakistan protest. “Anti-Pakistan protests in Kabul, happening right now,” Mohseni tweeted.
There were no immediate reports of deaths or injuries.
Tuesday’s development comes two days after Lieutenant General Faiz Hameed, the intelligence chief of Pakistan, came to Kabul on an unannounced visit to reportedly hold discussions over the formation of a new Taliban-led government in the war-torn nation. During the visit, the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) chief is reported to have also met the group’s de facto leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar.
Additionally, the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) is alleged to have aided the Taliban in the latter’s latest offensive against the Northern Resistance Front (NRF) to capture Panjshir, the only province in Afghanistan not under the Islamist movement’s control.
This is not the first time when the regime's fighters have opened fire at protesters, despite its promises of peace and general amnesty upon its return to power. On August 19, Talibs shot at participants who were taking out a protest march in the city of Asadabad on the occasion of Afghan Independence Day, killing several demonstrators.
Taliban, which first ruled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001, seized power for a second time after conquering Kabul on August 15. They launched their offensive to capture the city amid withdrawal of American troops, who arrived here 20 years ago following the 9/11 attacks. The United States ended its military mission on August 30, a day before self-imposed August 31 deadline.