THE MEMORIES OF MY LIFE (Two Weeks Prior to the Fall of Kabul)

An autobiography of a former regime officer who continue his work under the Islamic Emirate and came to know the reality of the propaganda against IEA after the Triumph of Kabul at August 15th, 2021. THE MEMORIES OF MY LIFE (Two Weeks Prior to the Fall of Kabul) The month of August 2021, was a […]

An autobiography of a former regime officer who continue his work under the Islamic Emirate and came to know the reality of the propaganda against IEA after the Triumph of Kabul at August 15th, 2021.

(Two Weeks Prior to the Fall of Kabul)

The month of August 2021, was a memorable month of my life. I have never imagined the shocking incident that happened one after another. Two weeks prior to the collapse of the government and the fall of Kabul, my colleagues were regularly coming to my office and asking for updates of the political and security situations in Afghanistan. They raised two questions “What will happen?” “What we have to do?” Unfortunately, I had no answer for both of them. Through social media we were receiving information stressing on the aggressive behavior of the Taliban with government employees. Such information created an atmosphere of fear among us and we were really worried for our life, families and dependents.
ToloNews the leading TV channel in Afghanistan was blowing our minds with too much information. On daily basis, security related information aired by ToloNews was demoralizing the morale of majority of the government employees and it was disturbing and distractive.
Most of my colleagues including myself lost focus and morale which has directly affected our work. We could not think of anything except for security situation in Afghanistan.
On the other hand, the confidence of Ashraf Ghani the President of Afghanistan was the only hope that I was relying on. I was thinking that Ashraf Ghani is the man with plan and strategy and he will sort out the existing problems.
On those days, series of meetings with scholars, Jahidi leaders and foreign diplomats took place at the Presidential palace and video message of Ashraf Ghani recorded and aired through Radio Television of Afghanistan and the social media with special emphasize on controlling the political and security situation of the county.
Time was running fast and the government was losing control of the provinces one by one. Some colleagues were saying: “Half of the country will be captured by Taliban and half will remain with government and then a real dialogue and negotiation on inclusive government will begin.”
The provinces were falling one by one and based on the above quote we were counting the numbers. Taliban captured 5, 10, 15, 17, 20 and… provinces but the dialogue between the two on inclusive government did not happen.
On other side, Ashraf Ghani was attending events and explaining his roadmap for peace and stability and assuring people.

Those days I was asking myself “What is going on?”

The two weeks passed but with full stress, depression and confusion and left unforgettable memories.

On August 14, 2021, on Sunday night at 11:00 PM, I received a phone call from colleague who was working at the media office of the President of Afghanistan and said: “Kabul will fall in next six hours.” I was shocked, because, a senior official and a reliable source at the president office told me just a day before, that “Kabul will resist for coming six months”.

My personal documents were at the office, I woke up my elder brother and asked him if he could accompany me toward my office.
It was late night, I could finally have managed to find a taxi and headed toward the office.
On the streets, I saw no security forces, no police, no traffic except for few officers I believe from the National Security Directorate on some specific locations. When I reached the first entrance I saw some officers from the national security directorate who were in alert position.

They asked me who are you? What are you doing? And where are you going?

I made an excuse and I told them I need to reach my office immediately. I showed my ID card and they allowed me however, they assigned one officer to accompany me till my return.

It was 12 AM that I reached to the main gate of the premises where I worked. I heard a loud sound saying don’t move!

I stopped and told the in-charge that I am working here. He came closer and asked the same above questions, I showed my ID card and he only allowed me with the security officer and told my elder brother to stay outside.

I entered the premises and after few minutes reached my office.

I gathered my personal documents and I gave the rest of my personal stuff like perfume, tie and etc. to the security officer.

It was around 12:30 AM, that I locked my office and left the premises and took a taxi and headed toward my home. The whole night, I could not sleep and I was really worried what will happen if the Taliban really capture Kabul city.

Through WhatsApp, I was in contact with friends and I was trying to get updates every single minute.

The night passed and early morning I asked my younger brother to go outside and gather some news whether or not Taliban entered the city.

After sometimes my brother returned and told me that everything is normal nothing has happened.

I went out and saw that people are going to the offices the same as yesterday.

I called my driver and he came and we moved toward my office, on the way, I tried to gather information and updates from colleagues unfortunately no one responded.

It was around 10 AM that the admin manager of the organization came to my office and said that situation seems not normal and expressed that Taliban reached Pul-e Charkhi and Company two areas in the east and west of Kabul city, and fight between Taliban and the Afghan security forces has begun. I told him ask female staff to leave the premises immediately.

After few minutes I heard another news saying that there is no presence of Taliban in Kabul however, it was a minor issue in Pul-e Charkhi Prison and there is nothing to worry.

At 11:30 AM I heard gun fires near to my office. The gun fires stopped and after few minutes I went out and saw none of my colleagues including the security personnel in their offices. I locked the doors and left the premises. When I came out I saw a large number of people including protocol, media, PPS and other staff related to the President office were running and trying to leave the place. The roads were blocked and even some people left their cars in the middle of the streets and were moving to different destinations.

I joined the crowed and walked with high speed for nearly one hour, eventually I found a taxi and headed toward my home. I felt a bad pain in my legs which made it difficult for me to walk. That day, the color of sky was completely different it was kind of golden which I never saw it before. As far as I know, that day was really not a normal day. I was completely shocked and I was asking myself what happened. I reached home and saw my family members and my uncle who came all the way from my village.

I checked my mobile and I saw a statement released by Taliban emphasizing on national amnesty. The statement was in Dari and Pashto languages.

At the same time, I received a phone call of someone (A member of Taliban) from Zabul province and the man asked where are you?
I told him I am around and the man was insisting to know about my exact location and I did not give him the information.
My uncle emphasized not to stay for longer at home it is not safe for me.

I was wondering like I am in deep dream and everything that is happening is not for real.
I picked a piece of cloth and covered my face and I accompanied my uncle for an unknown destination. On the way, there was anarchy everywhere, some people were taking military equipment including guns, vehicles and etc.
Eventually, I stationed somewhere for four days and every time when the door of the house knocked I was losing my morale and I was thinking that Taliban were behind the door and they were looking for me.

I asked my uncle if he could manage to provide me a kind of guarantee from a Talib at least a letter or similar thing that I should utilize it if anything happen to me. Unfortunately, I received the letter from none.

I felt so lonely and I felt that I am a refugee in my own country. I could not bear the situation and it was really hard for me to stay longer even for a single minute. I called my mother and urged her to take me out of the house. After almost two hours I saw my mother entered the house and she arranged a vehicle to get me out.
After a week when Taliban took over the country, I received a phone call from the admin manager and he said that a new director is going to be introduced for our organization and the new director has ordered for my presence at the ceremony.

When I received the news I was shaking, I shared the matter with my mother and elder brother and asked for their advice. They told me there is no choice you have to attend the ceremony, otherwise, they will come for you.
I thought this is the end of my life and today is the last day of my existence in this world. It was afternoon time, I took a taxi and on the way I recited Quran and Hadith and deeply urged God for mercy and in every five minutes my mother was in contact with me through phone calls.
Eventually, I reached office, I saw a Talib who was stationed at the main gate he asked me where are going?

I told him, I am working here.

Beyond my imagination, he behaved well and respectfully asked me if I allow him to search.
I was shocked, is he really a Talib?

I entered office of the director and saw a person setting on the couch, with long beard and a turban. The admin manager introduced me to the new director.

After greetings, the new director asked me: “I am here for almost a week where were you?”My mother was continuously calling. The director told who is calling you?
I said, she is my mother and she is really worried for me.

He asked worry for what?
I said, she is worried of me being tortured by you.

He laughed and said tell your mother that you are with us there is nothing to worry.

With the passage of time the level of my fear gradually reduced and I start talking to the new director and after every paragraph I emphasized that colleagues including myself who are working in the organization we are just employees and we have nothing to do with things that happened during the ex-regime.
On the same day, I met senior officials of the Islamic Emirate and we have discussed various things.
The new director told me that I should continue my service.

Now, recalling those dark hours, days and weeks, I have come to a conclusion, the information that was published on social media and the reports aired by ToloNews and Afghan media were far from the reality and had only propaganda aspects.
Unfortunately, with the fall of Kabul and the ex-regime, the majority of those whom the government invested in during the last twenty years, left the country and stationed in the United States, European and neighboring countries, which at the outset affected governance related affairs. Gradually, service delivery process has come to normal.
Within the past one and half year, the happy moment for me was, that the current government, for the first time in twenty years made its national budget from its internal resources. On the other hand, fighting corruption at every level and gaining revenue in a transparent manner was another green light that gave me the feeling of moving towards economic independency.
With limited resources, the current government strives to deliver services to Afghans, off course, it is not sufficient and there is much more to do to tackle the existing problems. I believe if the USA, European, regional and neighboring countries, international community, donors and funding institutions besides providing emergency and humanitarian aids, invest in infrastructural, national, regional and development projects, I am pretty sure the country will reach its milestones that eventually will lead Afghanistan towards economic and social well fare.
The political pressure that has been imposed on the government of Afghanistan it is not only affecting the government, however, it has negative consequences and it is the Afghans who suffer and pay the price.
Moreover, foreign media are promoting negative news about Afghanistan and as far as I know in most occasions the news are far from the reality. Indeed, such action creates a negative perception among the people who live outside of Afghanistan, and shows the world that Afghanistan is a country of full of violence.
Off course, issues may occur in Afghanistan that may affect Afghans, but as far as I am concerned, during the past one and half year, in most occasions, I have seen utmost respect from senior officials of the Islamic Emirate, they have admired our work and continue to help us with every possible way.