“A picture is worth a thousand words.”
Journalist Clarissa Ward shared a photo from her time in Afghanistan on Twitter, which neatly sums up her relationship with the Taliban.
Ward, US broadcaster CNN’s chief international correspondent, has been eyeing the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan for months.
On Tuesday, he tweeted a picture of Maulvi Abdullah Mohammed, a senior leader in the Taliban government.
Her caption read: “A picture is worth a thousand words.
“You don’t have to zoom in to see how the head of the Taliban’s ministry for the promotion of virtue and the prevention of evil in Ghazni feels about sitting with me.”
Writing for CNN, Ward and fellow journalist Brent Swales explained: “The Taliban have converted Ghazni’s pink-walled women’s ministry building into the new headquarters of the Ministry of Propagation of Virtue and Prevention of Vice.”
The Women’s Ministry was established in 2001 after the Taliban was ousted and soon had 90% female staff – it protected the country’s women and girls and ran safe homes for women.
Most of the women lost their jobs even under the new Taliban regime.
There are no women in the new Taliban government and girls are forbidden to attend secondary school.
CNN also reported how Ward began negotiating with Mohammad, even though Taliban fighters have beaten Afghan journalists in recent weeks.
The Taliban has been eager to hold talks with the international press because Afghanistan relies on foreign aid to keep it afloat.
Mohamed was speaking to Ward and was opening up on the purpose of the Taliban’s new “religious police”, which call on the public to abide by Sharia law.
One of these new commanders was heard telling an Afghan crowd: “Treat your women according to Islamic law and make sure they cover themselves.”
CNN noted that while its camera crew was around, religious police were on a “charming offensive, more intent on shaking hands and introducing themselves” to locals – but away from the media, beatings and punishments are still common.