Taliban leader appears on Tolo News with Woman Anchor, history in making

For the first time, a Taliban spokesperson is seen sitting face to face with an Afghan woman anchor live on tv. The Taliban have shared on multiple occasions that they have “changed” and women will now be part of its inclusive governance.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Now in control of Afghanistan, The Taliban continue to surprise the western world. Mawlawi Abdulhaq Hemad, a key member of the Taliban media team appeared with a woman anchor, Beheshta Arghand to discuss the policies and administrative plans of the Taliban from this point onwards.

Tolo News is one of the independent news agencies functioning in Afghanistan, which The Taliban had taken over once they entered Kabul victoriously. Tolo News is under the MOBY Group but is more commonly known to be led by Saad Mohseni. It has been functional since 2004. This interview is the Taliban’s signal to its people and the international community that they are wilful to set a positive tone. 



The behaviour of the Taliban upon entering Kabul on 15th August is in sharp contrast to the widespread fear ensuing impressions the world had about them.  For example, BBC News consistently speculated from Sunday onwards, the fear and panic among the people, especially among minorities and women.

These images of the Taliban are but a fragment of a time when they were merely misled and frustrated by the US occupation in Afghanistan. Taliban were seen on roads tearing down billboards and posters with women without headscarves or “proper” dressing. 



Read More: Russia optimistic on Taliban rule in Afghanistan

However, in this time and age, the Taliban wants to be recognised by the international community and its people. That is precisely why Suhail Shaheen, the Spokesperson for the Taliban called BBC news himself and spoke with them to share the evolved Taliban, that is they are more than willing to see women receive education and go to educational institutes.

He also emphasised that the Taliban now has a novel outlook in its ideology and philosophy, thus people need not fear them, but look forward to stability instead. 


Read More: Senior journalist Hamid Mir to appear on BBC’s Hard Talk

Though the fear is natural, given that the Taliban have showcased intense oppressive and patriarchal actions back when the US forces occupied Afghanistan in 2001. Such interviews are a rare sight in Afghanistan, but it is the first step towards normalisation that the current Afghan Taliban has been speaking of.

The Taliban media spokesperson has shared that they are no longer against women and the general population continuing their daily activities. For women, however, they still have to integrate the ‘hijab’ within their lifestyle. 


Despite antagonist feelings towards American occupation, the Taliban acknowledge that the Americans along with Europeans have invested billions of dollars in setting up infrastructure and educational facilities that must not go to waste.

The New York Times shared that “Over two decades, the United States invested more than $780 million to promote women’s rights. Girls and women have joined the military and police forces, held political office, and competed in the Olympics and on robotics teams, doing things that once seemed unimaginable.”

Read More: New Zealand’s Ardern request Taliban to maintain the human rights in Afghanistan

The Taliban have identified their international weakness: Image development and they are taking the required steps when the momentum is swinging in their direction. They have shared that as part of their inclusive government, women are encouraged to join and leave their fears in the past.