Roya Rahmani, who served as the first female Afghanistan ambassador to the United States until last month, said Afghan women are “in a state of panic” after the Taliban retook the country two weeks ago.

“What we are hearing is that the sense of panic is growing exponentially, because there [are] multiple threats that the Afghans are facing, particularly Afghan women and Afghan girls. They are the ones that will be losing the most,” Rahmani told another network.


“There are already alarms going off for Afghan women, and they are in a state of panic,” she said.

Rahmani, who sat alongside Yasmeen Hassan, the global executive director of Equality Now, said the Taliban is trying to rebrand itself as a more moderate version of the hard-line Islamic militant group, but that we won’t get the full picture of the “Taliban 2.0” until the U.S. completes its evacuation effort and completely pulls out of the country on Tuesday.

“If [the Taliban] went and took over a village that was already conservative and susceptible to harsher rules, they went back and applied the same things that they did in ’96,” Rahmani explained. “If they took over a province and village that were more into education and they demanded that their girls go to school, then [the Taliban] showed more leniency. 

“But now it’s a different story,” she continued. “Now they have the whole country. Now they are fully in control. We are just seeing the tip of the iceberg.”

“No one had imagined this,” she said earlier in the conversation. “No one had potentially guessed that this would be the way that we were ending these 20 years of struggle and success and progress and everything that we have together. This is a tragic consequence.”

Rahmani was born in Kabul in 1978, a year before the Soviets invaded Afghanistan, and she grew up as a refugee in Pakistan. She told CNN earlier this month that Afghanistan’s collapse to the Taliban was “absolutely” avoidable and that President Biden’s military withdrawal from the country “expedited the process of the Taliban takeover at the speed of light.”

In an interview with Fox News the day after Kabul collapsed, Rahmani described the progress that women had made in Afghanistan over the last 20 years since the Taliban’s ouster by U.S.-led forces. She noted how prior to the U.S. intervention in 2001, girls weren’t allowed to attend school and needed male escorts just to leave the home.


“All those people who have been educated, who have been empowered, they’re not only fearing losing those abilities, the rights, the potentials, but also their very way of life,” she said.

Her comments Sunday came three days after ISIS-K terrorists attacked the airport in Kabul during the United States evacuation effort, killing 13 U.S. service members and more than 170 Afghans.

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