On the occasion of Afghanistan’s Independence Day on August 19, scores of citizens of the war-torn state took to the streets of the capital city, Kabul. They marched across the city carrying hundreds of meter long Afghanistan flag, to protest against the Taliban’s takeover of the war-ravaged country. Videos of the protest are now being widely shared on social media platforms.
According to reports, soon after the Islamist outfit officially declared Afghanistan as an ‘Islamic Emirate’ on the country’s 102nd Independence Day from British control in 1919, Afghan nationals, comprising of men, women and children hit the streets of Kabul. Amidst loud cheers of ‘Long Live Afghanistan’ and ‘Our flag, our identity’, these protestors have been marching through the city with the national flag.
Besides Kabul, the Afghans showed their dissent against the now ruling Talibanis by hoisting their national flag in various other places in the country. In videos of Abdul Haq Square flooding the social media space, two men are seen climbing twin flagpoles to unfurl the national flag. Below, people are seen cheering as they wave tiny, plastic replicas of the Afghan flag.
Afghans erecting national flag in Abdul Haq square in #Kabul, in defiance of Taliban— Frud Bezhan فرود بيژن (@FrudBezhan) August 19, 2021
The militants have replaced the black, red, and green national flag with their own white flags across #Afghanistan
But Afghans are braving threats, possible violence to mark Independence Day pic.twitter.com/xtFKL9ygxh
However, such acts of defiance by Afghani nationals have attracted retaliation from the Talibanis. As per eyewitnesses, such processions have been fired upon in the eastern city of Jalalabad in Nangarhar province in which three people lost their lives.
Today also, the Taliban opened fire on an Independence Day rally in Konar province’s Asadabad, in which several people were killed.
Several people were killed in the Afghan city of Asadabad when Taliban fighters fired on people waving the national flag at an Independence Day rally: Reuters #Afghanishtan— ANI (@ANI) August 19, 2021
According to Guardian, hundreds of protesters, including women, gathered in Kabul brandishing the national flag and shouting “our flag, our identity”. The Islamist fundamentals surrounded these protesters, shouting and firing rounds into the air in an attempt to disperse the crowds. This triggered panic followed by a stampede in the area. A witness Mohammed Salim said: “Several people were killed and injured in the stampede and firing by the Taliban.”
According to media reports, after retaking the country on Sunday, August 15, the Taliban intends to replace the Afghan national flag with their white banner bearing the Shahada “La ilah ila Allah, Mohammad rasoul Allah” (There is no god but God and Muhammad is God’s messenger). This attempt has irked the Afghanis who have taken to the streets to protest against the radical Islamist outfit.