It has been two months since the Taliban took over Afghanistan ousting the US forces that were stationed on Afghan soil for 20 years. The new face of the Taliban army is being called Taliban 2.0; this time they are back with not just weapons to threaten humanity but also gadgets to connect virtually with the world at large. The cellphone-clad Taliban soldiers, on one hand, can be seen with their guns mounted on their shoulders, on the other, indulging in recreational activities at amusement parks, playing with choppers, taking selfies for TikTok.
According to a recent report by journalist Saeed Shah for The Wall Street Journal, most of the Taliban rank-and-file soldiers are first-timers in Kabul and feel touristy while in the capital city of Afghanistan. When not 'working', they can be found relaxing and indulging in sightseeing.
Taliban fighters run amok
Top urban attractions for relaxing Taliban are Qargha lake, with its swan-shaped pedal boats, the Kabul zoo, and the Wazir Akbar Khan neighborhood, where visitors stroll on a grassy hill overlooking the city, mentions the report.
Last week, Afghan journalist Bilal Sarwary posted a video of Taliban fighters swinging in the park. In the month of August, a TikTok video of Taliban men trying to play around with gym equipment.
While these videos may be found amusing by their audience, the current defence minister of the Taliban regime, Mawlawi Mohammad Yaqoob, is clearly miffed with the selfie culture.
In an audio message released last Thursday, he not only instructed his men to be cautious in the public eye but also mentioned that such behaviour can make them lose the Islamic system.
"Stick to the tasks you have been assigned. You are damaging our status, which has been created with the blood of our martyrs," Yaqoob who is the son of Taliban founder Mullah Omar stated in the message.
He also called out the selfie culture in official premises owing to security concerns and pointed out that violating traffic, dressing up absurdly and putting out a casual image through social media is behaviour belonging to "warlords and gangsters of the puppet regime" and feared it may cost them.
"If we continue to act like this, God forbid, we will lose our Islamic system," he furthered.
Earlier in July, the Taliban militancy group admitted to the killing of a TikTok comedian Nazar Mohammad who had allegedly dared to poke fun at them. His last moments before being abducted from his home to his killing were captured on camera and went viral on social media.