Perhaps surreal is the only way one can describe it -- on one hand there’s death, destruction and ravaging in Afghanistan, and on the other Taliban soldiers enjoying on merry-go-rounds, bumper cars and jumping on trampolines left behind by Afghans fleeing for their lives. Without context, the videos of Taliban soldiers enjoying themselves might seem unassuming, but with the grizzly context, it seems sinister.
In a video that has gone viral, Talibani soldiers are seen driving bumper cars and having the time of their lives -- but not without their guns. One can see the soldiers, driving the cars in what appears to be a park, holding their guns too.
In another video posted by French news outlet Mediavenir, one can see multiple soldiers enjoying a merry-go-round meant for children. Naturally, no children are to be seen nearby.
A post by freelance journalist Assad Hanna shows Talibani soldiers playing on a trampoline.
In yet another one by Hanna, Taliban soldiers are trying out the equipment at what has been reported as the presidential palace’s gym.
These videos are in stark contrast to the visuals that have emerged from Kabul airport. In those videos, the fear is palpable as Afghans try to cling on to an American flight trying to take off from Kabul. Scared people are seen running along with the plane on the tarmac.
In another video, two men who tied themselves to a plane can be seen falling off to their deaths from mid-air after the aircraft takes off. Visuals of the US Air Force's C-17 Globemaster III cramped with 600 Afghans, sitting on the floor of the aircraft has also been shared widely. There appears to be no luggage, implying that they left everything behind.
Moreover, Afghanistan's first and youngest female mayor Zarifa Ghafari said to an international outlet, “I am sitting here waiting for them to come. There is no one to help me or my family. I’m just sitting with them and my husband. And they will come for people like me and kill me.” Ghafari’s fears stem from the fact that she has faced multiple threats from the Taliban. Her father was gunned down too. Women all over the country are fearful for their lives and their future considering the Taliban’s treatment of women in the past. They had been stopped from receiving an education and working, and were victims of barbaric punishments.
India too evacuated all of its embassy staff. National Security Advisor Ajit Doval spoke with his American counterpart Jake Sullivan for a smooth evacuation of Indians after which Indian officials were taken inside the secure American zone at the Kabul airport. The flight reached Gujarat’s Jamnagar at 11 am on Tuesday.
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