Around 1,500 people attended a rally on Sunday in a vast field to the north of Kabul, to show their support to Taliban. The people attended were only men and boys, listened to the speeches by top Taliban officials and commanders at Kohdaman Township. The rally was the first of its type in the capital since the Taliban took control of the country during a rapid onslaught seven weeks ago.
The Taliban leaders addressed an audience seated in rows of seats under awnings, flanked by white and black Taliban banners and militants in full combat gear wielding assault rifles. As the time passed, more and more supporters arrived, leaving several hundred sitting to watch from chairs in the midday sun. To start the event, a procession of Taliban fighters carrying flags and rocket launchers, walked around the crowd.
A procession of fighters carrying flags and weaponry – including rocket launchers – walked around the gathering to get things off, while many unarmed supporters waved homemade posters wearing red or white Taliban headbands.
Maulvi Muslim Haqqani, the deputy minister of Hajj and Religious Affairs in Taliban, hailed the Islamist takeover and said that Christians and Westerners had been defeated.
A small group of men also railed against the United States, and told the crowd to “respect elders” because as per Taliban, they were the “mujahids who fought against the Soviets” in the 1980s. They chanted “America is defeated, impossible, impossible — but possible!”
Before the rally kicked-off, Taliban fighters honoured one of the deceased Taliban commander and put up a huge banner written, ““support of the people of Kohdaman for the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan in the action of liberating the country”.
Last Thursday, the Taliban had violently stopped a small women’s rights demonstration in eastern Kabul, with firing shots into the air to disperse protesters. Then one of the gunmen fired himself with his automatic weapon.