Return to Transcripts main page
Connect the World
Taliban Fire Shots to Disperse Crowds Near Kabul Airport; CNN Speaks with Afghan MP About Taliban Takeover; Countries not in a Rush to Recognize Taliban; Chaotic Scenes in Kabul as Evacuation Efforts Continue; Afghan Women Fear Loss of Rights Under Taliban Rule; No Respite for Rescuers as Death Toll Climbs. Aired 11a-12p ET
Aired August 18, 2021 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
HALA GORANI, CNNI HOST: I am Hala Gorani. Welcome to our continuing coverage of the fall of Afghanistan as thousands in Afghanistan desperately
tried to leave their country.
We've learned of one that made it out safe and sound. The former Afghan President, Ashraf Ghani, he is in the United Arab Emirates. Here you see
Ashraf Ghani last week before the Taliban had seized control of Kabul.
Right now the UAE's foreign ministry confirms that Ghani and his family are there on "Humanitarian grounds". Ghani fled just as the Taliban were
closing in his whereabouts had been a mystery. As far as people, most are not so lucky.
This was the scene outside Kabul airport earlier, the Taliban fired shots to disperse crowds clamoring for a flight out. More from Kabul in a moment
our Eleni Giokos is in Dubai. Let's talk a little bit about the UAE, welcoming Ashraf Ghani and his family. What more do we know about the, this
decision by the country to allow him and his family in?
ELENI GIOKOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So Hala, look, we've been asking the UAE government for a few days now to give us information about whether there
have accepted Ashraf Ghani into the country. And they finally confirmed to us today. And according to the foreign ministry, they've expected him and
his family on humanitarian grounds.
That is, as much as we know right now we have asked questions, we've responded and asked when did he arrive? What state is he in? Way exactly,
which city is he in right now? What is interesting here is that of course, they've finally revealed this information.
So, you know a lot of questions around his whereabouts this entire week and why he fled. Remember, he sent that tweet out, saying he left because he
wanted to avoid further bloodshed. But for many Afghans, as you've said, it basically leaves a helpless country that was on the cusp of becoming a
It was literally the last straw. Now, what we've also been requesting is just information about what his messaging is going to be. Remember, he left
the country in the middle of negotiations with the Taliban and other former politicians, which of course, were vital in securing Afghanistan's future.
Now the question is going to be is he going to be negotiating from abroad? Is he going to be completely out of the political landscape when it comes
to Afghanistan's future? What we do know is that the Taliban were closing in on Kabul, and many feel that him leaving demoralize the Afghan forces
further and that is why Kabul basically fell without much resistance on Sunday.
What is also important to note is the fact that many Afghans are trying to leave the country, he was able to leave safely. We've heard from multiple
sources Hala that he might have left with a lot of money in hand. Remember, there were a lot of concerns of corruption surrounding his presidency.
And also, some say even though they're criticizing him leaving, if you look at the history when the Taliban took over the previous time, they tortured
and killed the president, the then president. So there, this is a very multi layered conversation. But at least we know he's here in the UAE and
we'll be chasing to get more information as it comes through.
GORANI: Alright, and we'll reconnect with you Eleni when we have more information on his whereabouts within the UAE.
GORANI: And if the foreign ministry or indeed the government gives us more information on its decision to grant him asylum. Let's get more now from
Kabul, there was some terrifying moments earlier. Take a listen to CNN's Clarissa Ward, speaking with my colleagues John Berman and Brianna Keilar a
short time ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLARRISA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Sorry for interrupting you. Let me try to explain to the situation where we are. It's
very hectic; you can probably hear those gunshots. We're about 200 yards even less than 200 yards away from the entrance to the Kabul airport. We
just drove through it quickly.
It's absolutely impossible to stop there. And I say we drove through it quickly. You can't drive through it quickly. Its bumper to bumper cars are
barely moving, other Taliban fighters all around. We actually did see them physically, with truncheons, trying to get them back.
We have seen them and heard them a lot as well firing on the crowds to disperse the crowds. It's a little difficult to see from this vantage point
and it's a slightly edgy situation.
So I don't want to push our luck. But all along the road side over there, there are just hundreds of people who are basically waiting desperately
trying to get out of the country.
It's not clear if they have their paperwork in order if they've been declined and told that they can't enter the gates or if they simply don't
have the wherewithal to get inside a hammer man will bond it's just panning off right now.
You can see it's a pretty large crowd who's formed around us already because this is slightly unusual situation to doing live shots from here, I
think but it's definitely chaotic. It's definitely dangerous. I will say this. The Taliban appears to be trying to disperse the crowds.
WARD (on camera): And there are crowds there of young men who seem to be just engaging and like criminal activity. I don't know if you've heard
that. They're kind of running towards the Taliban and then running away from them again, almost like it's a game. But you know, when there's
bullets firing like that, Briana, and John, it's clearly not a game.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: We heard the gunfire there, Clarissa. Give us a sense if the Taliban is firing into the crowds at people? Or is it crowd
dispersal into the air? Are they letting anyone through?
WARD (on camera): From what we can see and what we could see we only had a very limited vantage point. They're firing to disperse the crowds. They're
not targeting people.
They're not trying to kill people. But of course, the minute you're firing willy-nilly, when you have a bunch of civilians all over the road and
civilian vehicles, people get hurt. That's what happens.
So there's not a huge amount of discipline, let's say, to use an understatement, in the ways in which they are dispersing the crowd. We did
see some people behind the concertina wire implying that they had been able to get into that first perimeter.
But I'm not going to lie. I mean, you're running the gauntlet to try to get in there. Because there are so many different things going on, you could
just hear the gunfire is pretty much constant, as the Taliban tries to push people back.
And as a result, you're just getting lots of people on the roads surrounding the airport, like the one we're on less than 200 yards away.
You're just getting lots and lots of people sitting by the roadside, some of them have their bags, and they're just obviously having no idea how they
can get out.
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And I know Clarissa that your cameraman Will is there, it looks like on a tripod. But I'm just wondering if he can
pan around a little more so that we can see the scene there. Not too far from the Kabul airport and--
WARD (on camera): Could you just pan around a little bit more to get a bit of more of the scene? I'll step out to the side. You can see we've got this
crowd around, which is never - because you know crowds are always a little bit dangerous. And most of these people let me ask you sir, are you waiting
here to get out, or what are you doing here?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, the most of the people get gathering here.
WARD (on camera): Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're working with the American with ISO - all documents are the recommendations everything.
WARD (on camera): Right.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: --Joe Biden - these guys, you're working with American or with the ISOs. We take them to the America, but they are liars. Just
take these guys, you have--
WARD (on camera): Did you work with the Americans?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, of course. Of course it is all like a more than 50,000 people there. Today is all of them have gone to the homes. This is
so less people now here.
WARD (on camera): You're the people here now?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, yes.
WARD (on camera): A couple of days ago?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, our home is here. But all there's many flights- -
WARD (on camera): Did you try to get in?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, but it didn't lead you to go in?
WARD (on camera): Why?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're not let you.
WARD (on camera): What did they tell you?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They tell - just to stay here. We take these guys, they have an American passport or American British or they have the green cards.
We take him, otherwise you have to stop here or they say here. We tell them we cannot stay here because if the Joe Biden says we take this all the
Afghan workers here help us; you take them to the America.
WARD (on camera): Have you applied? Have you tried to apply?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, of course.
WARD (on camera): And what happened?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They tell us we have to bring the latest updates for the 2021, that's impossible. The all the companies logged on in 2014. It's very
hard to find--
WARD (on camera): That's the people in the same situation?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, all the same. They have - letter, but they doesn't have the recommendation letter. But most of them have lost their batch.
WARD (on camera): Right? So what's your message to America right now?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, our message to America, we help the American people who do their jobs to help right now here. Here's a very bad
situation if there's someone know that you work with somebody --.
WARD (on camera): I'm just going to - you sir. Can I just bring you in? You have a green card?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. This is my green card.
WARD (on camera): This is your green card? It's showing the picture right now of his green card. That's his green card. So you have a green card.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. And I have flight on August 20, this Friday.
WARD (on camera): Right.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Already fill out the application for the U.S. Embassy.
WARD (on camera): Right.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And this is the emails that I got from the embassy.
WARD (on camera): And so, did you try to get in to the airport?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I did.
WARD (on camera): And what did the Taliban say?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, the Taliban say, we don't know just go. We don't want to try to let you end like this. We don't have flights - have
WARD (on camera): They don't have flights?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, they just say, but do we have a flight?
WARD (on camera): But you're getting an impression John and Brianna, I mean, look, I'm surrounded here, OK, and everybody here has got a story
people work for the Americans.
WARD (on camera): One man has a green card; he already has his flights booked. Now they're pressing in, they want desperately to tell their
stories they want the Americans to know, because they're not able to get past those checkpoints. They're not able to get across the Taliban
fighters, John, Brianna.
BERMAN: Clarissa, first of all, whatever you need right now, however, you know, you feel you're in charge with this, right? If you need to go if you
need to get safe, let us know at any minute. If you're comfortable, where you are, this is important to see.
Because what we are seeing now is disconnect between what the United States says is happening, it needs to happen with what can happen.
If there are thousands of Afghans, the United States has promised to get out of the country, but they can't get to the airport. That's a disconnect.
It's showing that it's not a reality.
WARD (on camera): And that's what's so crazy, John. You're talking about some of these people, they have their paperwork, this man has a green card,
if you are a U.S. green card holder, and you should be allowed to get into that airport. But the problem is it is such a chaotic situation.
And the Taliban understands how this looks. The Taliban knows but having thousands of people on the streets desperately trying to press into the
airport, because they're so frightened, because they just want more than anything to leave. They know that that looks bad. So it is not entirely
surprising that the Taliban is not exactly embracing this sort of mass exodus.
The question becomes, what recourse do these people have? How can their safe passage be facilitated? We're not getting any sense of how that could
happen, John, Brianna. I think John and Brianna; we're going to have to wrap it up.
KEILAR: All right, is that what you're telling me?
WARD: We're going to have to wrap it up here because it's getting--
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: All right, Clarissa Ward earlier there in thick of it outside Kabul airport. Let's bring in someone who knows what it's like on the ground.
He's a member of Afghanistan's parliament, Nabiullah Baz. He joins me live via Skype from Kabul. Thanks for being with us.
First, I want to get your reaction as an elected official, a member of parliament to the news that Ashraf Ghani, the former president of
Afghanistan has fled and is now in the United Arab Emirates. What are your thoughts?
NABIULLAH BAZ, MEMBER OF AFGHAN PARLIAMENT: Thank you so much for having me here. To be honest, I have nothing to say regards to the president than him
going to UAE. We're all truck. We're all disappointed. That's all I could say.
GORANI: I want to expand on that. But you do say you're disappointed. What's the status situation for you now? Are you still as a member of
parliament working in your position as an elected official?
BAZ: No had thus point. As you know, the current situation of Afghanistan, it's not clear we are in a state of confusion and chaos. There is no
government, there is no system. There is no one accountable, so no accountability, and no responsibility whatsoever. At this point, we--
GORANI: Unfortunately, I think we just lost our guest, Nabiullah Baz, a Member of Parliament. We're going to work on getting him back because it's
a really important perspective. And I'd really, really love to hear from him.
But the little snippet that we got from him is that well, he said he was disappointed at the news that Ashraf Ghani has emerged in the UAE. Mr. Baz
you can hear me I believe again?
BAZ: Yes, I can.
GORANI: So you went - yes, go ahead.
BAZ: So we were disappointed because what we expected was that the Kabul situation would be different, if anything, if the Taliban were successful
in taking over the control of the poor country, because the Kabul city would at least have a very peaceful transition of power.
But that didn't happen that the President left we were left with chaos. And because of that, people started panicking. The police officers in different
police stations, they left their post, so there was no one to maintain order and security in the city.
And that kind of led Taliban to actually come in and take the security of the city in their hands so as a member of the Parliament, as a member of
the government, I am disappointed president for just leaving the country without a leader without a proper plan.
GORANI: Have you received any instructions any messages from the Taliban at all since they took over?
BAZ: Well, they have issued some orders regarding the government official to their fighters to their Taliban fighters that their houses are off
limits; their properties are off limit that their positions are off limits. So no Talib is allowed to enter their house or to speak with them in any
manner. So far, that's what we have seen. And that's what exactly what they did.
GORANI: Right. But regarding the - regarding parliament, that branch of government, you've received no message from the Taliban with regards to how
that is meant to continue to operate or not. At this point, you're in the dark.
BAZ: So far, we have no idea. We haven't heard any messages regarding the parliament or the government structured the Taliban.
Yesterday, Zabiullah Mujahid, the spokesperson told in a press conference that they are working really hard on it, or the construction, or the plan
for how they're going to formulate their new government. And we have no idea in that government, Parliament would be a part of it or not.
GORANI: What about the, I spoke just a few days ago to a female member of parliament, have you heard anything about whether or not they plan to
continue to work with it within the system?
BAZ: Like I said earlier, we have no idea what kind of a system is it. I mean, we are hopeful that this time we would see an inclusive government,
as they have announced it, that they would bring in different ethnic groups into their government and formulate a government that would be acceptable
to all Afghans.
But we have yet to see. So the same goes for the woman. Yesterday, we heard news reports that the government, the Taliban, asked the government
officials to come back their positions, whether regardless of their gender, if they're male or female, they can come back and then serve their country
and be back on their old jobs.
Same goes for the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education, all these other ministries; they have done the same thing. So that kind of gives we
hope for the future of Afghanistan as to see that if this is the case that you're allowing a woman to work.
And yesterday, they actually openly said that even the journalists that the woman can be part of it, and they should be neutral and should be free. And
they should actually pinpoint our mistakes to us so that we can correct it. Now, this kind of news actually gives us hope.
GORANI: When the Taliban spokesperson yesterday said, listen, government employees should go back to their posts, we really don't want to exact
revenge on anybody. I know you just said it fills you with hope. But you trust that message.
BAZ: I mean, at this point, the least we can do is press and when I say that it's not the same time as it used to be back in 2001. Back then, in
2001, we have nothing there was no internet, there was no social media, there was no connectivity.
So right now the whole world is watching as you are broadcasting this from another corner of the world, you are seeing the situation of Afghanistan,
and so does Taliban know that the whole world is watching. So they have to do something about it.
They cannot mislead or lie on national television to the people. Just today, I'm not sure if you guys heard this or not. But there was a protest
in my constituency and a couple of others as well, regarding the national flag, the people took it to the street and they actually raised their
There was some protest some resistance from the Taliban side. But in the end, the flag was up high in the sky. So which really gives us hope that
these are not the same people that they used to do back then in 2001. There are different people they want their rights, they want their voices to be
GORANI: And what presumably I mean, with all the technology we have today, people are on WhatsApp, they send each other texts. I mean, you and your
fellow parliament members must be having discussions all day about what to expect, what's the mood like between you, for you, and also your
BAZ: When we are in contact that's the least we can do these days, we have nothing else to do. So we are in contact with one another all the time. We
check up on one another because like I said initially, right now we don't have a government even if it's the Taliban government, but we don't have.
So in a state of confusion and chaos, there are a lot of other worries other threats that are more eminent than the Taliban. So for that reason we
are in touch, the other parliament members are also hopeful. They see that how the Taliban are treating them with respect.
They're very happy with them because so far the Taliban did not knock on their doors and be like, OK, you got a score to settle. Nothing like that
BAZ: So the, the members of the Parliament when they see that reaction when they saw that this is how they're treating us, so they're hopeful, too. I
mean, day by day, our perspective regarding the Taliban is changing for the better.
GORANI: Yes. And this has unraveled very quickly the fall of Kabul was, I think, surprised, even probably the Taliban. Do you think it was the fault
of the President and the political establishment in the capital that they fled so quickly, that it seems as though they gave up very quickly?
BAZ: I mean, obviously, we hope that this topic should have taken very carefully. But they actually left without a warning without saying without
any remarks, or without any instruction for someone who would leave behind; they just left, leaving the whole system crippled within minutes.
As soon as people heard that the President left along with his team, people started panicking, nonstop panicking. And during the nighttime, when it
reached to after evening time, around seven o'clock, we start hearing complaints about people looting, and then stealing stuff or robbing people.
And at that point, the Taliban actually made a statement that we weren't going to come in, because we already announced that we're going to stay on
the border of Kabul, and have a peaceful transition and make the government surrender. But in reality, the government left and it's chaos in the city,
and we are forced to come in and take control of the security. And that's exactly what they did.
So far, we have fewer cases. I mean, earlier, you were talking about the Kabul airport International Airport. That is one case. But as you know,
people are still in panic mode, because our future is still uncertain, as our government is not known.
GORANI: Have you ventured out on the streets of Kabul? Do you feel safe doing so?
BAZ: Well, actually, I have left my house twice yesterday and the day before that. And to be honest, it felt good to leave the house without a
bulletproof car without bodyguards all the time looking over me. So it kind of felt good. But at the same time, I was still a little nervous that it's
going to take some time to get used to this.
GORANI: Yes. And obviously your hope is to go back to work as an elected politician, right? That's, that's what you want, ultimately, but the
Taliban are in charge. So it's going to be an entirely different, different life for you, regardless of whether or not you take your post up again.
BAZ: The thing is that I'm, I'm the next generation of the youth, Afghans. I'm 28 years old. So when the Taliban government was toppled down, I was
nine years old back then I didn't know from good and bad.
Now that the Taliban returned, I want to see it with my own eyes, whether they're really that vicious that the world made them out to be or that's
not the case. So this is something that the youth the younger generation want to see for themselves.
And, and so far, the things that I've seen with my own eyes, I'm hopeful that we could finally have peace in Afghanistan if things went well.
GORANI: Well, I wish you the best I know everyone does. Nabiullah Baz, a Member of Parliament. Thank you very much for joining us live from Kabul.
We'll be right back. Thank you.
GORANI: As the U.S. and NATO allies scrambled to form a coordinated approach to the new security threats the Taliban now pose in Afghanistan.
Other countries are still in talks with the Taliban as the group tries to cement its rule.
China says it has maintained communication as it pursues friendly policies. Russia meantime says it will not rush to recognize the Taliban but that it
would depend on the group's behavior. Pakistan says it will wait on a regional decision on whether to recognize the Taliban.
The British Prime Minister Boris Johnson says UK forces have evacuated more than 2000 Afghan nationals from Afghanistan so far. Mr. Johnson held an
emergency debate in Parliament today, where he also praised those who risked their lives for the coalition in Afghanistan.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: The sacrifice in Afghanistan is seared into our national consciousness, with 150,000 people serving that
from across the length and breadth of the United Kingdom.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Well, CNN's Salma Abdelaziz is live outside the UK Houses of Parliament. 2000 evacuated, that's a tiny, tiny fraction of the tens of
thousands, who are probably waiting to be extracted from the country's Alma.
SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN REPORTER: Absolutely, and in a completely chaotic situation, you've seen those images in the airport, there's very little
system in place there to get those people to safety, at least for right now. And that's exactly why Prime Minister Boris Johnson was facing some
really tough criticism today in the House of Commons.
It's the first time that everybody all the MPs are back without any lockdown restrictions, so it was packed, it was loud and it was passionate
and angry at times. Of course, the predominant question Hala is what on earth happened? How did Afghanistan fall so quickly?
And what does this mean for Britain's commitment to a country for over two decades. This was Britain British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's response.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHNSON: The West could not continue. This U.S. led mission, a mission conceived and executed in support and defense of America without American
logistics, without U.S. air power and without American mind.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ABDELAZIZ: Shifting the responsibility there to the United States, I want to point out here that President Biden has had only one call to a foreign
counterpart and that is Prime Minister Boris Johnson. So you hear him sort of echoing the language there, the U.S. is our partner.
This was inevitability; we do have to at some point pull out. But also the Prime Minister offering his support his dedication to the Afghan people
through a settlement scheme Hala, that's going to bring potentially up to 20,000 Afghan nationals allow them to resettle here in the UK over the
course of the next few years.
There are also a total of about 5000 Afghan nationals who worked with the British government in the past; they should be coming here as soon as
GORANI: And briefly, Nick Carter, Britain's Army Chief was done the interview rounds today and he said the Taliban could be different this time
around that maybe that the UK could cooperate with the Taliban. And some have expressed surprise that that statement so soon into the Taliban's
ABDELAZIZ: Extraordinary remarks Hala and I think absolutely a lot of Afghan critics, observers people on the ground will say it's simply too
early to tell you just interviewed that that very eloquent Member of Parliament who says I want to see with my own eyes take a wait and see
But the British Defense Chief of Staff there, Nick Carter, saying I think they have changed. He described them as country boys who are doing their
best to reference to Pashtunwali. But really too early to tell this and an indication that Britain is willing to work with the Taliban right now to
get everyone out of the airport.
But what we keep hearing over and over again, from these Western countries is we want to have a unified a clear approach to what it means to
legitimize recognize, acknowledge the Taliban in whatever form that might be Hala.
GORANI: Salma Abdelaziz thanks very much.
GORANI: After 20 years of progress women once again fear for their lives in Afghanistan, how the Taliban regime is taking shape, and why the
international community is skeptical of some bold new promises?
GORANI: Well, we learned in the last few hours that Afghanistan's Former President is now in the United Arab Emirates as the Taliban continued to
solidify control of the country that he fled. The foreign ministry in the United Arab Emirates says Ashraf Ghani and his family were welcomed on
Thousands of his fellow Afghans are trying to escape as well, but it's unclear if they will be able to. Shots were fired outside the airport to
disperse the crowds. A CNN team in Kabul saw Taliban fighters in circling the airport there and beating anyone in that was coming in their way. CNN's
Nick Paton Walsh was also at the airport in Kabul and shows us what he saw there.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL SECURITY EDITOR (voice over): Around Kabul airport lives spared or spoiled. At one gate I was caught in the
crash shorts in the air. Afghan soldiers let us in through a hole in the fence. Inside a few lucky Afghans still with steps to go and sleepless U.S.
marines some not born before 9/11. His first glimpse of Afghanistan here was the same as so many before them.
Except this time, they were truly encircled by calm Taliban just outside and they were leaving. The detritus of 20 years of trying was everywhere,
vehicles that may be left behind. And then the Afghans won't be we're blurring their faces to protect them lucky enough to get on a flight, but
not as huge a number as those who would swamp the airfield the days before.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is absolutely breathtaking to see the scale of the operation underway here and the volume of people relieved to be inside, but
still, the chaos.
WALSH (voice over): Flights picked up as evening fell, urgency, but a strange disconnect to the chaos that was swirling around the airport.
People inside the airport simply did not know what was happening outside and inside. They were headed in one direction.
At airport security the country's new rulers were giving their first press conference on a TV but surely show all four of the U.S. presidents who've
been at war here.
WALSH (voice over): They sit and wait to be called to a new life in a land of plenty. Well, they will land with only one they can carry. Nick Paton
Walsh CNN, Kabul, Afghanistan.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Let's talk now about the international reaction to the Taliban and their victory in Afghanistan. Arwa Damon is in Istanbul and she joins me
now live. What have we heard from various countries from China, from Russia and others?
ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, let's start with Turkey Hala. Turkey is saying that it is open to having discussions with
the Taliban. But at the same time, it's also beefing up its border security, with Iran erecting a large wall, increasing the number of border
guards trying to stem the potential flow of Afghan refugees. And here's a look at what some other global leaders have to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAMON (voice over): The headlines Blair, the ugly, almost incomprehensible truth that after 20 years of war against the world's most powerful armies
that Talaban won. And those countries that once bought them have to accept that they have to engage their former foes.
JOSEP BORRELL, EU FOREIGN POLICY CHIEF: The Taliban have won the war. So we will have to deal with them in order to engage in a dialogue as soon as
necessary to prevent a humanitarian and a potential migratory disaster but also humanitarian crisis.
DAMON (voice over): After an emergency meeting Tuesday, the EU's Foreign Policy Chief said that the block will not recognize but will work with the
Taliban if fundamental human rights are respected. But it seems that the main concern is how to prevent Afghans from flooding Europe, and avoiding a
repeat of the 2015 Syrian refugee crisis.
EMMANUEL MACRON, FRENCH PRESIDENT: France, as I've said, have and will continue to do its duty, those who are most threatened, we will do our full
part in an organized and fair international effort. But Europe cannot be the only ones to take on consequences of the current situation.
DAMON (voice over): The consequences of the current situation in other words, desperate Afghans wanting to flee the Taliban.
ANGELA MERKEL, GERMAN CHANCELLOR: Before talking about quotas, we must first talk about security possibilities for refugees in the neighborhood of
Afghanistan. And I will also discuss this with UNHCR, and then we can think about as a second step whether especially affected people can be brought to
Europe in a controlled and supported way.
DAMON (voice over): As Europe scrambles to protect itself, Afghanistan's neighbor and fickle American ally, Pakistan's leader praise the Taliban's
takeover as having broken the shackles of slavery. And where the West recedes, Russia and China will step in. The two countries foreign ministers
reportedly spoke by phone on Monday to discuss the unfolding situation.
SERGEY LAVROV, RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER: In fact that the Taliban show a willingness to consider the position of others, in my opinion, is the
positive side. And they said that they are ready to discuss the government in which not only them but the other representatives of Afghan powers can
be a part.
DAMON (voice over): It is arguably among the saddest outcomes of a 20 year war that was meant to deliver so much more than this, to a population that
has already suffered more than most of us can even imagine.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DAMON: Hala, there's so much about this that is so tragic and just to add to that, imagine being an Afghan or an entire Afghan family that actually
made it to Europe over the last few years only to be deported back to Afghanistan, because European countries had deemed Afghanistan safe enough.
And now they are stuck there because for all intents and purposes, at this moment, the vast majority of Afghans who would want to flee are trapped in
GORANI: And we continue to see these record numbers of refugees around the world, many of whom end up finding themselves in no man's lands with
nowhere to go with uncertain futures. Arwa thanks so much for that, and you can help or try to at least Afghan refugees or even if you're troubled,
some of you have served - have received lots of messages. For those of you who have served in Afghanistan, you can go to cnn.com/impact for
Still to come telling the real Afghan story we'll talk with the Director of a brand new Afghan News Organization which launched on the day the Taliban
took over. We'll be right back.
GORANI: Fear is set again for women across Afghanistan. Many face an uncertain future under Taliban control. They are worried that two decades
of progress for some of them could be wiped away. Now for some those fears are turning into reality as CNN's Clarissa Ward found out.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WARD: At the Central Kabul market stores were open and people were back on the streets or at least some people, it was impossible not to notice that
women here seem to have largely melted away.
One store was doing better business than usual. For more than a decade, Muhammad has been selling burkas, the head to toe covering once imposed by
the Taliban. Business was good but now it's even better. He tells us more sales.
WARD (on camera): Why do you think you're selling more burkas right now?
WARD (voice over): Because the Taliban took over and all the women are afraid he says so that's why they're all coming in and buying burkas.
WARD (on camera): Do you feel abandoned?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, exactly.
WARD (voiceover): In an apartment downtown, we saw that fear firsthand. Until last week, Fazila (ph) was working for the UN that's not her real
name. And she asked we not show her face. She's petrified that the Taliban will link her to Western organizations and says she hasn't gone outside
since they arrived in Kabul.
WARD (on camera): You look very frightened.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Exact. Too much stress it is not easy for a person to work a lot with international organization having more than 10 years-
experience of working with international and now no one of them helped me. Just sending emails to different organizations that I've worked with you
but now, no response.
WARD (on camera): Are you angry?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, I'm not angry but as a person that who fought with them. Now I need your supports. It is not fair.
WARD (on camera): You look very emotional as well.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. Because I'm thinking about my future my daughters, what will happen to them if they kill me two daughters without
WARD (voice over): The Taliban says they have learned from history and that women's rights will be protected. But many fearful Afghan women remain to
WARD (on camera): We're on our way now to the home of a prominent female Afghan politician. She's told me that there are Taliban fighters outside
her front door so she's asked that I go in alone.
WARD (voice over): Fawzia Koofi was one of the Afghan Government Negotiators during peace talks with the Taliban and has dealt with a group
a lot. She says that promising change is not enough.
FAWZIA KOOFI, AFGHAN POLITICIAN: They have to really prove it in the provinces across Afghanistan.
KOOFI: They have to show it by example. It's very easy to issue statements, but people need to see that in practice.
WARD (voice over): Koofi has every reason not to trust. Last year she was shot by unknown gunman. The Taliban denied they were behind the attack.
WARD (on camera): You have children?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have two daughters.
WARD (on camera): And are they here?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They are in Kabul.
WARD (on camera): And are you concerned for them?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm concerned for my daughters and all the girls who of Afghanistan. I don't want history to repeat itself on them very
WARD (voice over): 20 years of progress for women in Afghanistan now hangs by a thread. Clarissa Ward, CNN, Kabul?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Well beside the role of women and the new Afghanistan another major question will be how much freedom will be granted to the media to freely
observe and report what is happening there.
Joining us now is Harun Najafizada he is the Director of Afghanistan International TV which happened to launch on Sunday with a goal of
providing independent media coverage of Afghanistan and it launched on the day of the Taliban takeover. How has it been going? What have you been able
to air? Have you been able to operate freely?
HARUN NAJAFIZADA, DIRECTOR, AFGHANISTAN INTERNATIONAL TV: We have been struggling to report Afghanistan in the past few days. Because the access
to information and our sources to even talking to the people, ordinary people that's really been restricted. And it is difficult, but we rely on
people here in London in our newsroom, who are advocates, and some have recently joined us from Kabul about two three weeks ago to report the
GORANI: And when you say your access to sources has been restricted, what do you mean by that?
NAJAFIZADA: I mean that all government entities have shut down. I mean that we do not have direct channel to talk to the Taliban authorities, we do
speak to them spokespeople. But there is only one or two. Apart from that it's difficult to file - let me speak to people we file on their daily
lives, personal stories. But in general, it is quite different to what it used to be.
GORANI: What about your offices in Kabul? Have they been visited by the Taliban?
NAJAFIZADA: Yes, some Taliban fighters have been to our office in Kabul. We worked with other local media organizations, almost all of them have been
visited by the Taliban. There was no threat. They have been behaving properly.
But you know the fact that you see an armed fighter with his clashing cough, coming to your office, and talking about your job is something that
you can't - you can't leave it like that.
GORANI: So they visited your offices, they're talking - when you say they're talking about your job, what are they say? What have they said to
the journalists in your Kabul offices?
NAJAFIZADA: Without inquiring what are you guys are doing. What type of reporting you're doing? Have you reported on the Islamic Emirate of
Afghanistan - the Taliban? How have you been impartial? Have you been professional and so on and so forth?
And our answer has been that we are an impartial media organization, and that we are here to tell the story of the people.
GORANI: All right. But as you said, having an armed fighter come into your office I mean, anybody would feel a bit - a bit uneasy about that,
regardless of what they say. I mean, I can only imagine what it would be like having someone just walks into my office now with a Kalashnikov, just
to say hi.
NAJAFIZADA: Yes. I mean, this has been probably the worst day of my life as an Afghan, and as a journalist to see that there was a total media blackout
for the first, second and third day of the Taliban return to Kabul because you didn't know what was going on in the country in full picture.
And that was why we thought there is a need for creating and launching an independent media organization Afghanistan International to tell people's
stories. So while we were launching a media the entity for Afghanistan something to be proud of and celebrate.
NAJAFIZADA: We were not happy at all because things really changed over overnight.
GORANI: And you I saw on your Twitter page on your networks' Twitter page that there are female anchors and presenters on the air. And I saw that at
least one of them - one of the news readers made it on onto television. Was there any discussion about that with the Taliban?
NAJAFIZADA: We have been in discussion with some Taliban authorities to try to explain to them who we are, and that we do not have any political agenda
and things like that. We have not specifically discussed our way of reporting, like, who will be reporting on what as of yet.
But you know, it's only about three or four full days since the top Kabul. And at one point, we probably have to negotiate with them.
GORANI: Yes. And last question. I mean, as you continue to broadcast, I get that - it's more difficult to have access to sources quite simply because
these government institutions don't exist anymore. They've evaporated overnight.
Could there comes a moment where you decide OK, we don't have the freedoms to report and to work, the freedoms that we need to actually operate an
independent news channel and where you would you feel like you would have to pull the plug?
NAJAFIZADA: I hope that that day does not come, I am in fear that it might come. I mean, it depends how the Taliban will react to the media, to the
society, to the international community and to the wider world.
If they can exist with the international community as a country and as a government and I know there are talks going on for a comprehensive
government to replace President Rouhani who escaped to Abu Dhabi. But if we have an acceptable government in Kabul, I hope that we continue to work
inside the country and to serve the people by telling them what's going on and providing information much, much needed.
GORANI: Harun Najafizada the Director of Afghan International TV, I wish you the best. Thank you for joining us,
NAJAFIZADA: Thank you.
GORANI: An unpredictable future for the people of Haiti as well. Thousands of homes have been destroyed. We'll have the latest next.
GORANI: Well with each passing day in the Caribbean Island Nation of Haiti, more and more people are discovered to have been killed by Saturday's
earthquake. The death toll now close to 2000 it stands out more than 1900 with almost 10,000 injured 60,000 homes have been destroyed, displacing
families and leaving many to sleep outside.
Then Tuesday, a tropical storm dumped rain on the disasters zone as if the initial disaster weren't enough. But there's been no grace and no mercy for
this Island Nation. It's impossible to fathom what people there are going through? But our Matt Rivers and his team made it into one of the hardest
hit areas near the epicenter. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): As soon as we arrived to the hospital, so did this man on a stretcher.
RIVERS (voice over): First responders brought him to the Main Hospital in the City of Jeremie a facility that in reality has no room for him. Inside
Haitian doctors and nurses are doing what they can to manage an influx of earthquake victims.
So many have come in every single bed is full, so some are simply laid on the floor. There are broken arms and legs, crushed wounds from falling
debris. And in the case of 22 month old even - a shattered femur.
My daughter is suffering her dad says and I don't want her to lose her leg. I'm so sad she is going through this. Even since dad says he pulled her out
of the rubble himself. I love my daughter very much and I almost lost her. I'm very grateful to these doctors working with their bare hands. It's
horrific for everyone.
Not far from the hospital. There is destruction on every block. Here ordinary people are clearing this debris because underneath was a grocery
store. Food supplies are thin right now. So anything they can find will help. Hundreds have died here. Many remain missing and thousands were
injured far more than the small health system can handle.
At the hospital there's only so much these doctors and nurses can do. On a normal day official say they treat 10 people here when we were there 84
people were waiting for treatment and more were coming in.
We are totally overwhelmed says the hospital director the patients keep coming in and out we don't have the means to take care them of all. A
doctor on scene told us at least a third of these people need to be moved to better equip facilities.
If they're not, it could lead to everything from losing limbs to losing lives. It's what even - dad fears the most. He's doing his best to just
keep it together because he doesn't know what else to do.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Matt Rivers reporting there. Thanks for joining us. CNN continues after this.
PAULA NEWTON, CNN HOST: Hello, I'm Paula Newton live in New York and this is "One World". I will bring you right up to date on our breaking news. We
are just learning new information--