Arif Hayat

Suddenly, the cabinet of the Taliban government was announced in evening, deputy ministers of all departments were appointed, the members of the new cabinet were met at a news conference, which did not include any women.

After the formation of the cabinet, the plan was made to go to Panjshir and then to Kunduz the next day. Overnight stay at Karti Char area, plan was to reach Pamir Cinema from there to start journey for next destination. I walked to the taxi stand with a friend on the road and was constantly in touch with my head office in Pakistan on my mobile, making videos of the markets in different places along the way.

When I reached “Ek Chora Hai”, a large procession of women was passing in front of us who had to protest for their rights to reach to their appointed place. I was talking on my mobile phone, holding it close to my ear, suddenly a seventeen or eighteen-s-old student came and snatched my mobile phone from me. My friend said “Melma de khair de”, (he is guest, leave him) return the mobile phone to him, the Taliban were thinking that those who have mobile phones in their hands are making footage of women’s protest.

Talib looked at his friend with bored eyes and asked me to come back. I signaled to my friend that you should get out of here. They gave me a hard shove and knocked me down on the road, as soon as I regained consciousness, the barrel of a new gun was right above my head. “Charta Takthi, Khabeesha”, (where are you running, evil) Talib shouted. He tried to drag me to the other side of the road but I got up, he grabbed me by my shirt collar.

My mind was unable to think and did not understand what to do. Looking around, I saw more than a dozen people standing in a line, surrounded and held up by the Taliban. From one side, Talib started beating everyone by waving a baton in the air and hit them one by one with a baton. He was calling everyone as inhabitants of hell while beating them. As soon as the baton was broken after beating half a dozen servants of , the round of kicking and punching began and he was enjoying taking out his stress on us, along with cursing everyone.

The same treatment was done to me, he gave me such a strong kick in between my stomach and the chest that I felt as if my ribs were broken. I was worried because of the pain that my nose started bleeding. When I stood up panting again, I was ordered to hold my ears, now how can I hold my ears at this age with a weight of 80 kilos, I posed as a chicken due to their order but the balance was not equal.

A second baton came and the act of beating began again. Well, this time the stick hit the back but the pain was felt in the brain. Now everyone was kicked and slapped, all of them were ordered to sit in three police mobiles. When it was my turn, the cars were full. On the way, the third police mobile van was stopped and I was seated alone in it. Now the Taliban started to babble verbally with each other. One group said we will settle down in the van, the other group demanded the same, but whoever sat down would have slapped me ten times in happiness. Well the car left and it looked like I was being taken to be killed.

Now these Taliban don’t even know their police station, they were just wandering in the car around the streets, finally they saw a police check post and threw me down from the car. He grabbed me by the neck and threw me on the ground in the checkpoint. Now a student grabbed me by the hair, I pulled away his hand with all my strength, as the new hair transplant was done which was yet to bear fruit. On which the other student stab me with gun on my knee and I was about to die but luckily I survived.

The mark of this stab is still on my knee. They beat me by lying me down and they made me face my both feet towards the sky, kicked my chest repeatedly for two or three times. I gave them the sake of Allah, I prayed to Allah, but none of my prayers were working. He was slapping me so steadily that I could not even remember the anthem of the Islamic Emirate, which I should recite and ask for the refuge of my life.

When they left me and I was laying down, I opened my eyes, and on the high wall of the check post, there was something written by of the former government, “Sar Varkom Kho Sangar Na Varkom”, which means I am ready to give my life, but I will not leave the Front line. (to be continued)

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