Terrified Afghan news presenter flanked by armed Taliban asked to praise group live on air
Video footage from the incident showed the unidentified Afghan TV anchor being accosted by Taliban members who were armed to the teeth
An Afghan news anchor was surrounded by Taliban militants at a Kabul TV station and asked to praise the terror group.
The Sunday, August 29, incident was captured on video and went viral on social media. It showed the unidentified Afghan TV anchor being accosted by Taliban members who were armed to the teeth. The clip was reportedly recorded at the Afghan TV network Peace Studio just weeks after the United States' chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan, which allowed the extremist group to regain control, The Sun reported.
"Afghanistan TV - surreal," BBC's Yalda Hakim tweeted alongside a clip of the news report Sunday afternoon. "This is what a political debate now looks like on Afghan TV, Taliban foot soldiers watching over the host. The presenter talks about the collapse of the Ghani govt & says the Islamic Emirate says the Afghan people should not be afraid #Afghanistan."
Afghanistan TV - surreal— Yalda Hakim (@BBCYaldaHakim) August 29, 2021
This is what a political debate now looks like on Afghan TV, Taliban foot soldiers watching over the host. The presenter talks about the collapse of the Ghani govt & says the Islamic Emirate says the Afghan people should not to be afraid #Afghanistan pic.twitter.com/oEverVgLOE
According to Kian Sharifi, a BBC Monitoring journalist fluent in the Dari dialect of Persian, the show in question is a political debate program called Pardaz. Sharifi said the anchor was forced to say that the so-called Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan wanted the public to "cooperate with it and should not be afraid." The news presenter is seen in the 42-second clip being stared down by the insurgents standing alongside as he delivers their message. WIO News reported that the presenter also conducted a debate with the militants.
Zaki Daryabi, the publisher of Etilaatroz and KabulNow, took to Twitter to comment on the shocking footage. "This is what @Etilaatroz can’t accept. If so, we will stop our work," he tweeted.
Meanwhile, famed Iranian journalist Masih Alinejad called on President Joe Biden to watch the clip and "let us know if these militants posing behind this visibly petrified TV host are holding American weapons."
"This is surreal," the journalist and activist wrote alongside the video clip. "Taliban militants are posing behind this visibly petrified TV host with guns and making him say that people of #Afghanistan shouldn’t be scared of the Islamic Emirate. Taliban itself is synonymous with fear in the minds of millions. This is just another proof."
Last week, more than 170 people were killed at the Kabul airfield in a suicide bombing targeting Afghan refugees and US marines, many of whom lost their lives. Biden was slammed for appearing to check his watch after saluting the fallen servicemen whose bodies arrived back in the US on Sunday. The President and First Lady Jill Biden met with the families of service members killed in the terror attack before the bodies were transferred from a US military aircraft at Dover Air Force base.
Biden's critics have accused him of having "blood on his hands" after at least 13 US servicemen lost their lives at the deadly suicide bombing at Kabul airport. Meanwhile, the family of one of the marines killed in the blast has said they are "disgusted" at the "incompetent" Biden administration because no troops needed to die, The Sun reported.