As Taliban roam Kabul, dress code turns to salwar kameez

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Men with Kalashnikovs roamed the streets of Kabul on foot, in security vehicles and on motorcycles Monday as the insurgents solidified their hold on Afghanistan’s capital….reports Asian Lite News

The rush at the Kabul airport and the strong push to get out was one indicator of peoples anxiety about life under the Taliban. Another was a change in the dress code. Most of the men were dressed in salwar kameez. Hardly anyone wore jeans and T-shirts, which was a common sight a week ago, VOA reported.

The other big change from a week ago was the presence of women. On a normal day in Kabul, one could see a significant number of women on the streets dressed in jeans, long tunics and headscarves and full burqas.

Not now. The small group of women on the streets were fully covered in hijabs and wearing face masks to protect against the coronavirus.

While the Taliban promised there would be no violence against anyone, citizens of Kabul seemed to be treading cautiously, just in case.

Men with Kalashnikovs roamed the streets of Kabul on foot, in security vehicles and on motorcycles Monday as the insurgents solidified their hold on Afghanistan’s capital.

They seemed to have taken over the duties of Afghan police and security forces that were hardly visible anymore.

Armed Taliban stood at the gates of the compound that led to the US Embassy, now vacated. They also seemed to be standing guard outside the house of Abdullah Abdullah, head of the High Council for National Reconciliation.

At checkpoints previously staffed by Afghan forces, men with long beards wearing salwar kameez, the long tunic and loose pants that make the local dress, AK-47s dangling at their side, looked inside car windows and asked drivers where they were going, sometimes with a smile and a hand raised to their chest as a gesture of respect, the report said.

Afghanistan kids

Bridal dress ads in Kabul covered in white paint

On the first day of Taliban control in Kabul, bridal dress advertisements that showed women with exposed strands of hair were covered in fresh white paint.

Taliban fighters commandeered streets and searched the homes and offices of government officials and media outlets, spreading fear and menace across the Afghan capital, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Armed militants erected checkpoints throughout the city of six million people, imposed a 9 p.m. curfew and took over army and police posts.

Fighters, many grinning in victory, rode through the streets in captured US and Afghan military vehicles flying the Taliban’s white flag.

The report said turban-clad insurgents searched the phones of passers-by for evidence of government contacts or compromising material they might deem un-Islamic.

Stores were shut across the city.

On video footage shared over social media, chuckling Taliban fighters sauntered around Parliament building on the city’s outskirts.

Rozina, an Afghan-Canadian woman visiting Kabul with her Afghan husband, said Taliban fighters came to their hotel on Monday morning while she was in a back garden.

Frightened, she ran upstairs to their room.

Minutes later, Taliban fighters came inside with the hotel manager, who persuaded her to come out of the bathroom where she had hidden.

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