A female mayor of an Afghan city decided to await her fate be after the Taliban regained control of the country, saying she had nowhere to go.
While senior government members managed to flee Afghanistan, Maidan Sharh City Mayor Zarifa Ghafari said she had not attempted to leave the country.
“I’m sitting here waiting for them to come. There is no one to help me or my family,” she told iNews.
“I’m just sitting with them and my husband. And they will come for people like me and kill me. I can’t leave my family. And anyway, where would I go?” she said.
Ghafari, 27, rose to prominence in 2018 and became the youngest mayor in Afghanistan. The Taliban militants have frequently vowed to kill the politically influential female critic. She has survived multiple attempts on her life by the Taliban since she was elected.
Her father, General Abdul Wasi Ghafari, was gunned down last November.
Just three weeks ago, Ghafari told iNews that she was hopeful that she and her country had a future.
“Younger people are aware of what’s happening. They have social media. They communicate. I think they will continue fighting for progress and our rights. I think there is a future for this country,” she said at the time.
Now when the Taliban claimed victory after seizing the capital of Kabul, thousands of Afghans have been trying to flee Afghanistan. Still, Ghafari and people like her have been left without help.
But on Tuesday, the Taliban held their first press conference, declaring “amnesty” for government officials and vowing to uphold women’s rights under Islamic law, USA Today reported.
Zabihullah Mujahid, a spokesman for the Taliban, said they were working to form a government and vowed that “nobody will be harmed.”
“We have pardoned all those who have fought against us. Animosities have come to an end. We do not want to have any problems with the international community,” he said.
Mujahid said they are “committed to the rights of women under the system of sharia (Islamic) law,” but emphasized women could work and study “within our frameworks.”
“They are going to be working shoulder to shoulder with us. We would like to assure the international community that there will be no discrimination,” he said.