Pakistani woman supports Taliban, just not in Pakistan

Women’s rights and freedoms an ongoing concern since Kabul fell to Taliban in August

Twitter users were bemused at a Pakistani woman who expressed support for the Taliban on the condition that they did not come to power in Pakistan.

Journalist Hizbullah Khan shared a video on Twitter which showed the woman giggling as someone in the background inquired on her opinion on Afghanistan’s new leadership. The woman was asked if she would support a Taliban government in Pakistan, to which she replied that she didn’t want that to happen.

The viral video has amassed severe criticism, as many users labelled the woman’s views hypocritical.

A Twitter handle that goes by ‘Elephant Tweets’ responded to Hizbullah’s tweet and said that there was a deep socio-cultural, economic and political crisis in Pakistan. The user recalled a time when Pakistanis supported Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) until they started killing their children. Similarly, now Pakistanis supported the Afghan Taliban, the user added.

Development consultant Salma Jafar said that the video revealed Taliban supporters existed in Pakistan.

Another Twitter user added to Jafar’s views and suggested that Gallup Pakistan should conduct a survey on how many Pakistanis would support the establishment of a TTP government in Pakistan.

Earlier this week, Gallup Pakistan revealed survey results on how many Pakistanis endorsed the Afghan Taliban regime in the neighbouring country. According to the results, 58% of the men who took the survey supported the Afghan Taliban, whereas 36% of women said the same.

Overall, 55% Pakistanis supported the Taliban, who took over Kabul’s presidential seat and therefore Afghanistan on August 15.

The Taliban takeover has sent shockwaves amongst Afghan women. Earlier this month, a Taliban official spoke in favor of the hijab and likened women who left their heads bare to rotten melons. Taliban’s stringent policies on women’s clothing and gender segregation have also surfaced in recent days. The Taliban said that women would be allowed to attend universities if they wore the hijab and sat in separate classrooms to men. The interim Taliban leadership also cracked down on women protestors who took to the streets last week to demand their rights and freedoms.

Meanwhile, in his first media address on August 17, Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid said that women rights would be protected under the new Afghan leadership. Mujahid said that women would be allowed to work as well within the confines of what Islam allowed.