Ariana Saeed: Afghan pop star describes ‘horrific’ escape from Kabul, says ‘we let the world down’ | world News

The pop star and Afghan activist told Sky News of her “horrific” escape from the country, saying it was a miracle she was able to leave and feels “the world has let us down”.

Ariana Saeed, who has used her international fame to amplify calls for women’s rights and has 1.4 million followers on Instagram, said the escape was not easy because she is a well-known face in her home country.

She called the crisis unfolding after the Taliban seized power a “disaster” and said she “doesn’t believe a word” of the hardline Islamist group’s promises to uphold the rights of women and girls. When they were in power last Afghanistan From 1996 to 2001, women were effectively placed under house arrest as they were not allowed to work or get an education.

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Saeed shared this photo with her 1.4 million followers on Instagram while on the run. Pic: @aryanasayeedofficial/Reuters

The singer also expressed frustration and anger that despite the lives lost during the country’s conflict, which was caused by the 9/11 attacks, they now appear to be “in the same place” as they were 20 years ago.

“I had a very horrific experience trying to leave Afghanistan and escape,” Saeed told Sky News.

“It has not been easy at all for me because I am a well-known face and also the fact that I have been a women’s rights activist and have spoken out against the Taliban for many years now is a direct target.

“I am so grateful, but my heart goes out to all the women and children and the millions of people left behind in Afghanistan, with nowhere to go.”

Saeed was initially booked on a flight from Kabul on August 15, but the flight never happened.

“The plane we booked on was full of thousands of people and [there were] People with guns inside. “The next day we tried to come to the airport, same story, thousands of people, children crying. It was a disaster, absolutely disastrous.”

The singer, who holds a British passport, eventually managed to elope after a few days with her fiancé Haseeb Sayed, speaking to Sky News from Los Angeles. She said she was “one of the lucky ones”.

Afghan singer Ariana Saeed.  Pic: Sherzaad Entertainment/Reuters
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The star used her platform to speak out about women’s rights and speak out against the Taliban. Pic: Sherzaad Entertainment/Reuters

Referring to the period prior to Taliban rule, Saeed said that “what they did to women in Afghanistan 20 years ago was…horror” and that she believed they were saying they would be different this time “just to be able to be recognized by the world.”

She continued, “What is the guarantee that once they are recognized they will stick to their word? They will only return to who they were – or who they are.” be. I just can’t believe a word.

“I hopefull That what they say, they will act upon. And I hope that the world, if they come to some kind of agreement with them, I hope will hold them accountable for what they are saying now.”

And on Tuesday evening, Boris Johnson said the G7 had done so Agreed on a “road map” for future engagement with the Taliban.

Saeed told Sky News that she would like to ask world leaders, “Why is the world going to Afghanistan?” in the first place.

“If we try to remember 20 years ago, they went to Afghanistan saying we were trying to get rid of al-Qaeda and we would get rid of the Taliban. But after 20 years, we went back to the same place and nothing was done.

“Although American soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan, British soldiers have been sacrificed in Afghanistan. After millions and trillions of dollars have been spent in Afghanistan, nothing has been done.

“I can’t believe they’d just leave us and go, just like this. It’s really shocking to me.”

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