Kabir Khan fears an exodus of all artists in Afghanistan; recalls his first trip just 2 months before the Taliban took over Kabul



After the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan last week, filmmaker Kabir Khan, who shot his first feature Kabul Express in the landlocked country, fears that there will be an exodus of all artists probably in the same way when the Taliban invaded and ruled Afghanistan for 5 years. Also Read – From Khuda Gawah to Dharmatma: 5 Bollywood Movies That Were Shot in Picturesque Places in Afghanistan

Reacting to the assassination of comedian Nazar Mohammad, popularly known as Khasha Zwan, in Afghanistan’s Kandahar province, Kabir Khan feels that the Taliban will not let art survive under their rule, adding that “ the last time they did not allow photography , forget this ”. movies.’ Also read: Afghan militants kill Sushmita Banerjee, author whose life inspired Escape From Taliban

“I would say that there is going to be an exodus of all the artists, they would have to flee, which also happened the last time. I know many of them who were my friends, who worked with me at Kabul Express, they used to tell me their stories about how They ran away to Iran because that’s the only place where they could easily get a job, because Dari, which is spoken in Kabul, is basically a dialect of Farsi, so it’s easier for them to get a job in Iran. India, some would go to Pakistan, so I think it will be difficult for people in the sphere of arts and culture to survive there, “Kabir told The Quint. Also read – Nawazuddin Siddiqui to meet Phoolan Devi murder accused in Tihar jail

The filmmaker also mentioned that he has many friends there who approach him to help them get a visa and get to India. But he feels heartbroken and helpless because “there isn’t much one can do right now.” He added: ‘Most of the time their phones are off, they are scared, they are underground.’

Kabir is also not convinced by the Taliban’s statement at a press conference that they will allow women to work and girls to go to school. “I would be very happy if that were true, if they turned out to be different from what they were in 1996 and until 2001, but I’m not very convinced,” he added.

He is also unhappy with the fact that the Indian Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that they would only host the Hindu and Sikh communities from Afghanistan. “People are identifying the Taliban as Muslims, but they don’t understand that the people who suffer at their hands are also Muslims,” ​​he said. “Thousands and thousands of Afghan Muslims have died and suffered at the hands of the Taliban, so religion has nothing to do with that, we should not classify people according to their religion,” he added.

Recalling his first trip to Afghanistan in 1996, two months before the Taliban took over Kabul, Kabir said: “I went there to make a documentary for the International Committee of the Red Cross and the documentary was about the effects of the war. in children. Because even by then, they had seen 20 years of war. It was a very difficult documentary to make on a personal level because just seeing the effect of war on children was too much for us and it became problematic too. Because in that At the time the Taliban were literally 20 kilometers from Kabul and they bombed the city every day. So it became very dangerous for us to be there and we left at that moment thinking that we will come back when things improve, but they never did because two months later the Taliban had invaded Kabul and almost all of Afghanistan was under their control. “

He continued: “I finally came back 5 years later, after 9/11, when the Northern Alliance started to regain ground and the Americans were bombing the Taliban. I made a documentary about the 5 years of the Taliban rule and what it meant in Afghanistan. My Experiences there was what ultimately led to the Kabul Express script. “

Kabir concluded by saying that “any Indian who goes to Afghanistan is treated as a very dear friend and guest and it is really sad today when one cannot do anything for all the people there.”

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