'Whoever is telling you the Taliban has changed is lying'

23 August 2021, 16:11 | Updated: 23 August 2021, 16:23

By Tim Dodd

British-Afghan activist Shabnam Nasimi tells LBC history is "repeating itself all over again" in Afghanistan and that anyone "telling you the Taliban has changed is lying".

Her words come as the Taliban have warned failure of the US and UK to leave Afghanistan on time would "provoke a reaction" as the Defence Secretary said the evacuation effort is "down to hours now, not weeks".

The social and political activist told Andrew Castle: "I think whoever's telling you the Taliban has changed is lying.

"The Taliban have already sentenced the brother of an Afghan interpreter to death, according to letters obtained by CNN.

"A friend of mine, his brother who was a general in the Afghan army has been captured and very sadly killed.

"It's naive and laughable if anyone believes this group has changed, these are only PR operations and they're repeating the same thing they did in 1996 claiming that they come in peace, they do not seek revenge, and they want an inclusive society."

Watch: Defence Minister warns of 'very real security threat' from Islamic State at Kabul airport

Andrew said: "Tell people what happened to President Najibullah in 1996... after [the Taliban gave] similar assurances that their behaviour would be reasonable and limited."

Ms Nasimi replied: "Shortly after he was pulled out of his home in the public, brutally punished and then strung on a pole in the centre of Kabul to show the rest of Afghanistan that this is how they will be treating anyone who has shown allegiance or support to Western values, to freedom, to democracy, to - in their opinion - 'unislamic' ways of life.

"This is history repeating itself all over again. To think this is a group that can change, who are trained from a young age to be violent, to be extremists, to practice a very fundamental form of Islam."

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Ms Nasimi explained that the Taliban's promise of treating women 'according to Sharia law' is like saying "what you've been doing so far has not been Islamic in our opinion and once the West has left we will create the Emirate of Afghanistan which is very similar to what we had in 2001." 

Read more: Boris Johnson to push Joe Biden to extend Kabul evacuation deadline