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Connect the World
Taliban Celebrate Victory with Military Parade in Kandahar; Joe Biden Definitely Defends U.S. Withdrawal; China Aims to Ease Inequality with Anti-Trust Probes & Fines; Qatari Expert in Kabul to Discuss Reopening Airport; Former Afghan Official: Engage the Taliban Right Now; UAE Wins Golden Lion at Venice Architecture Biennale. Aired 11a-12p ET
Aired September 01, 2021 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN Abu Dhabi. This is "Connect the World" with Becky Anderson.
BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST, CONNECT THE WORLD: Well, this hour Afghanistan lashes in a new era as the world watches how the Taliban will rule the
country? I'm Becky Anderson. Hello and welcome to the show.
We start with two different, very different realities inside Afghanistan today. On the one side, victory and joyous celebrations by the Taliban
group holding parades in Kandahar and in other cities. This video posted on social media not independently confirmed by CNN - shows Taliban fighters
rolling through the streets of Kandahar in American made armored vehicles.
Well, here is another video of a parade in Herat people lining the streets to celebrate waving the Taliban flag all of this in stark contrast to the
countless -- count thousands of people across the country now living in fear of Taliban reprisals.
And to those still desperate to get out who have flocked to the border with Pakistan waiting, it seems for passage that may never come. Well, the
Taliban's celebrations were happening as the Biden Administration starts to shift away from Afghanistan, the U.S. President declaring the war over
defending his withdrawal strategy and America's chaotic final weeks in Afghanistan in a fiery speech on Tuesday. Joe Biden telling his country
there was no other better choice.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: I was not going to extend this forever war. And I was not extending a forever exit. The decision to
end the military lift operations at Kabul airport was based on unanimous recommendation on my civilian and military advisors, the Secretary of
State, the Secretary of Defense, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and all the Service Chiefs, and the Commanders in the field.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Well, the president ignoring widespread criticism of the U.S. exit calling the huge civilian airlift, "An extraordinary success".
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BIDEN: We completed one of the biggest air lifts in history, with more than 120,000 people evacuated to safety. That number is more than doubled what
most experts saw were possible. No nation, no nation has ever done anything like it in all of history. The only the United States had the capacity and
the will and ability to do it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Well, the mass evacuation marred by a terror attack, of course by the ISIS affiliate in Afghanistan that killed 170 Afghan troops and Afghans
sorry and 13 U.S. troops. President Biden says while the war in Afghanistan is over the war against ISIS-K as the group is known is not.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BIDEN: To ISIS-K we are not done with you yet. We'll hunt you down to the ends of the earth and you will pay the ultimate price.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Our International Diplomatic Editor Nic Robertson connecting us today from across the border in Pakistan, specifically in Islamabad. You
heard the U.S. President, defiant defensive not acknowledging any failures or mistakes over 20 years and vowing that an era of nation building is
over. Meantime, Nic, what is the situation on the ground in Afghanistan?
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: The next phase of nation building, if we're going to call it that is kind of waiting to
happen. And it waits to happen around the Taliban leadership and what government they propose and put in place to run the country.
You know, people like Mullah Baradar, who was the main point person for negotiations with the United States; someone like him has got a lot of
currency for the Taliban, of actually having some real experience dealing face to face with Western governments.
So maybe he's high up there sort of a foreign policy type job, foreign minister, maybe we don't know, this is speculation. The military
commanders, you know, who executed this really rapid takedown of the country, and you can expect them to be looking to get process, Defense
Chief and the Interior Ministry, those positions.
But I think the real key position here, or positions are those that go to the non-Taliban members. Remember, the Taliban promised that and this is
key because if they don't bring on board those non Taliban members and give those responsible portfolios, where they actually have some kind of
influence. The Taliban are not going to win support from the international community.
ROBERTSON: It's going to be harder for them to achieve what they want to achieve in terms of sort of rebuilding the country's economy, making
international relationships that will be tougher. And also, it's going to be harder to sell their leadership, which they say, is good for all Afghans
across the whole country, they have to be inclusive, or they will lose their population.
And if they lose their population, they know yet another insurgency will follow along. So that's where we're at. And this is the reality. They've
had their day of celebration, if you will, today with all that military hardware down in Kandahar that they took either in battle from Afghan
troops or got from the warehouses once they took over the country.
All that is there, the celebration was all there is today. Angry words towards the United States were all theirs today. But the hard reality is
they wake up tomorrow; they've still got to run the country, Becky?
ANDERSON: Yes, absolutely. Joe Biden's speech last night some have described as and defined others, defensive. He was, however you want to
describe his speech emphatic about his decisions in Afghanistan. And that hasn't changed in weeks now. He also referenced challenges from America's
adversaries have a listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BIDEN: The world is changing. We're engaged in a serious competition with China. We're dealing with the challenges on multiple fronts with Russia.
And there's nothing China or Russia would rather have, would want more in this competition in the United States to be bogged down another decade in
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Nic, what happens next, as far as Afghanistan is concerned? And who will support the country going forward? We hope the U.S. President
referencing China and Russia there suggesting they would want nothing more than for the U.S. to continue to be bogged down in war, of course, they
could see the spoils themselves? Do they present an opportunity for the Taliban at this point, for example?
ROBERTSON: The Taliban, in essence, you know, can be in the driving seat in those relationships. And they're trying to be. They've told both Russia and
both China that the terror groups that are inside Afghanistan, that potentially threaten Russia and potentially threaten China, they will not
allow them to attack those countries.
And that is going to be a big concern for China going forward. It's going to be a big concern for Russia going forward. There's an opportunity for
the Taliban, if they work with China to sort of really improve the economy in the country.
China has a big seaport that it's developed here in Pakistan on the Indian Ocean, hugely important sort of Belt and Road Initiative. It links Central
Asia and the cotton that's produced there to a port that can export it around the world.
So a stable Afghanistan equals a better, more prosperous Afghanistan, better profits for Chinese companies, potentially, and also a more stable
and economically successful Pakistan. So that's, you know, that's all to be there, if the Taliban could make a good relationship with China.
But you know, I think, you know, let's look at how China and Russia are positioning themselves now today, in terms of dealing with the Taliban.
They haven't recognized them, they said - China said that they'll deal with them.
But when it comes to the UN Security Council, when the United States and France and Britain and Germany were looking to get more pressure on the
Taliban, China and Russia backed away from it, they setting off down a different path here.
ANDERSON: Yes, perhaps we shouldn't be too surprised by that after all, they often take a different position than they do with the West in those
council meetings. But still, it's a really important point. Thank you. Nic Robertson is in Islamabad in Pakistan.
I want to discuss President Biden's speech a little more with Stephen Collinson, who writes and I "He was animated, determined and forthright
apparently convinced that the righteousness of his purpose. In essence, he is making a bet that Americans will tolerate the wars messy exit in order
to be rid of it. The speech was almost entirely devoted to a domestic political audience despite the fact that a U.S. President's words ring
around the world".
Stephen is with me from Washington, another commentator writing in an op-ed for cnn.com today specifically saying this was not a speech that was
directed at the U.S.'s allies and his adversaries, or even at Afghans. This was specifically directed at a U.S. domestic audience. Just explain what
you believe Biden's political strategy is here?
STEPHEN COLLINSON, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: I think first of all, the president was trying to put a line under this messy exit and to get the
conversation back to the fact that he ended this war that three of his predecessors knew, was not going to go well.
COLLINSON: And he had the courage to do it. That's the takeaway he wants Americans outside Washington, especially in the industrial Midwest, places
where he did very well in this election to take away from it. And it was and it shows us that this president's focus will always be through a
It was remarkable I think that there was almost no mention of the allies that have spent 20 years fighting and dying alongside the United States and
Afghanistan. After all, you know, the only time that NATO ever invoked its Article V, collective defense provision was after the 9/11 attacks but the
president didn't mention that.
There was also no real compassion for the tens of thousands of Afghan civilians who have died or been displaced during the 20 years of the U.S.
war. And I think that's a lesson that a lot of America's allies expected that this president was primarily focused on domestic concerns.
After all, he's in the middle of a pandemic. But I think that's what they will take away from this is that, you know, when Biden says America is
back, when people say, his great quality is empathy, that is on Biden's terms, and not necessarily on anybody else's.
ANDERSON: He's always positioned himself, hasn't he, as a foreign policy expert? That image it has to be said, and has been tarnished by his
performance over the last two weeks. Certainly, as far as the U.S.'s allies are concerned, he talked to people in this region; I'm here in Abu Dhabi in
It is certainly true that people have really raised a very cynical eyebrow, about this administration, and this U.S. President's understanding of our
foreign policy. How - does that matter, though, to a domestic audience?
COLLINSON: No, I don't think it does. I think it matters insofar as people want the United States to be secure and safe in the world. There are many
Americans who believe that last 20 years have shown that actually not conducting massive ground wars in the Middle East is the way to make
America safe, notwithstanding the fact that they all sort of sprang in one way or the other from the aftermath of 9/11.
Biden has made great store of the fact that he knows lots of world leaders; he was for years, the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
But I think his worldview has been narrowed by the experience of the last 20 years, you know, long before he was president, even when he was vice
president, he was deeply suspicious, not just of the Iraq war, but also pouring more troops and money into the Afghan war.
So he's, I think, really in, you know, implementing policies that he's thought about and his thought, for a long time. I think one of the
interesting takeaways of the last 20 years as the United States, and people in Washington pundits, generals, foreign policy, think tanks have developed
theories about how the rest of the world sees the United States?
How foreign policies can be implemented? How the United States can shape other countries? And the lesson is that really, over the last 20 years in
Afghanistan, and Iraq and elsewhere, that doesn't really work. And I think that is playing into Biden's thinking, of course, he is putting his own
template on the rest of the world.
He is saying that we can fight terrorism without having troops in a lot of these countries, you know, the world tends to make up its own mind. And
adversaries of the United States have a say in this as well. So we'll see over the next months and years, whether Biden's theory is actually correct
and is applicable to the current circumstances.
ANDERSON: One Senate Republican that you referenced in your piece reacted to Biden's speech, saying and I quote "President Biden kept his promise to
the Taliban and lied to the American people, these lies, will cost Americans for decades to come".
Is that a view that is reflected outside of the Republican Party, for example, I am interested to see that whilst Afghanistan has become once
again as off times issues do in American politics, a very partisan issue? We are also seeing quite disconnect, aren't we in the Democratic Party
about just how this has been handled?
COLLINSON: Yes, I think there is disquiet in the democratic foreign policy establishment and more internationalist wing of the party, about the way
the president has handled this. I think Ben Sasse has come in it also gets to a potential pitfall for the president from this withdrawal. If we get
into a situation where there are Americans perhaps being held by the Taliban, a hostage type situation where Americans perhaps are killed.
COLLINSON: This would be one of the things that could force Afghanistan back onto the political agenda in a way that Biden doesn't want it to be.
You know, that idea that American was left behind by the President of the United States, that could be a potentially powerful political issue, much
more so than, you know, what happens to Afghan refugees.
What happens if the Afghan state becomes more anarchic? You know other foreign policy issues in the region? That is the thing that could really
come back and haunt Biden, as well, as you know, any sign that Afghanistan is being used as a platform for foreign terrorists to not necessarily
attack the mainland of the United States, as happened in 9/11.
But U.S. interests elsewhere, you know, in South Central Asia and the Middle East, that could be something that really hurts Biden politically,
but he wants to move on. He wants to get to tackling the pandemic selling his big multi trillion dollar infrastructure and spending bill. That was a
signal he was sending without speech yesterday.
ANDERSON: Yes, fascinating. Thank you, Stephen, that's Stephen Collinson, and if you want to read Steve's entire piece head cnn.com/politics where
you will find more of his and other colleagues' expert political analysis.
Well, the British government feeling the heat over the collapse of Afghanistan to the Taliban. The Foreign Secretary says the UK believed the
militant group was unlikely to take Kabul until next year. Dominic Raab was grilled in the last hour by lawmakers in London who wants to know why he
didn't predict the speed of the Taliban takeover.
Well, let's get you to Melissa Bell. She's covering Dominic Raab testimony for us. And let's just have a listen, Melissa, to what Raab had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DOMINIC RAAB, BRITISH FOREIGN SECRETARY: My point is this. The central assessment that we were operating to, and it was certainly backed up by
both logic and the military, is that the likely, most likely the central proposition was that given the troop withdrawal, by the end of August, you
would see a steady deterioration from that point.
And that it was unlikely Kabul would fall this year. That was the center of assessment and of course, with all the usual caveats that you will be
familiar with. That doesn't mean we didn't do contingency planning or game out or test the other propositions. And just to be clear, that's something
that was widely shared that view amongst NATO allies.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Not quite sure about that, because it was only a couple of weeks ago that we were reporting that Washington at least was looking at a
November fall. What do you make of what you heard from Dominic Raab, Melissa?
MELISSA BELL, CNN PARIS CORRESPONDENT: He was facing tough questions Becky in front of a tough crowd. This is a foreign secretary he's had to answer
for his personal failings during this crisis not coming back from a holiday in time is what a lot of the British press have accused him of.
And of course, that failing of intelligence, that failure of intelligence shared by both the British and the Americans, how could it have come to
pass? He stuck to that line that you just heard several times over the course of the grilling that the central assessment had been that Kabul
wouldn't fall that fast.
But the idea that there had been contingency plans? Well, the problem is that not they didn't nothing much seems to have been seen of them since he
was also asked Becky about the numbers of Afghans who might have the opportunity to be resettled in United Kingdom should ways out of
Afghanistan be found?
And beyond the 5000 ordinary Afghans, the United Kingdom's offered to pledge leading up to 20,000. He was unable to say how many qualified under
the scheme for those who helped allied forces over the course of the last 20 years.
And it was a session that concluded by the Chairman of the Select Committee describing these last couple of weeks as the greatest foreign policy
disaster the United Kingdom had faced since Suez. And not only because of the hasty evacuations, the chaotic scenes of the airport, but as he
explained the shift of Alliance which leaves the United Kingdom without the special relationship that it had so counted on these last few years, Becky.
ANDERSON: Melissa Bell is in Paris for you, Melissa, thank you. Well, coming up escape from the Taliban she led a life of glamour and fame until
two weeks ago, this Popstar fled Afghanistan after the Taliban took control Women's rights activists and Popstar Aryana Sayeed joining us tonight from
And if you are a student in China, you'll be tackling a new curriculum this year, this school year on "Xi Jinping Thought" we'll have the details on
that coming up.
ANDERSON: Well, China is being accused of working to indoctrinate his students with a new curriculum called "Xi Jinping Thought". Now it is being
unveiled as students across the nation begin a new school year. The state one tabloid "Global Times" reports the curriculum aims to establish Marxist
beliefs in children and in teens Steven Jiang with the details.
STEVEN JIANG, CNN SENIOR PRODUCER: The full name for this new class is quite a mouthful, Xi Jinping thought on socialism with Chinese
characteristics for a new era. Now this, of course, is a set of policies and ideas derived from speeches and writings by the Chinese President, the
country's most powerful leader in decades.
"Xi Jinping Thought" has already been enshrined into the ruling communist parties and the country's constitutions, and now it's become part of a
mandatory national curriculum. The Education Ministry has made clear studying "Xi Jinping Thought" is the primary political task not only for
the Communist Party, but also for the entire nation.
That's why they say they're now arming the students' minds with this philosophy to cultivate successors to the communist cause. And they have
also emphasized that this is going to be a continuous process starting from elementary schools, but going all the way to colleges and the universities.
Now, for many of course, this is yet another unmistakable sign that a Communist Party under Xi Jinping is now trying to play a dominant role in
every aspect of Chinese society, not just in politics and military but also in businesses a cultural institutions and especially in schools as the
authorities are increasingly focused on indoctrinating and shaping the minds of the younger generations, at a time when geopolitical tensions
continue to grow between China and the West, especially the United States.
Now ironically, the government has recently banned after school private tutoring to relieve students' burden, but obviously, they don't see this
new mandatory class as a burden for millions of schoolchildren around China. Steven Jiang, CNN, Beijing.
ANDERSON: Well, the Communist Party meanwhile, also tackling social ills and income inequality with the crackdown on private enterprises. This
years' regulated have slapped some of China's tech giants with antitrust probes and heavy fines wiping $3 trillion of the market value of some of
China's largest firms. Kristie Lu Stout, with more on that.
KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A sector under siege, China's leading tech players from major e-commerce platforms, and ride hailing companies,
to education tech groups, all have been targeted by Beijing's crackdown on private enterprise. Casualties include some of China's leading tech firms
Alibaba, ByteDance, Didi, - and New Oriental Education -- Tencent and the list goes on.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STOUT (voice over): Companies have been slapped with fines banned from app stores in order to overhaul their business, prompting sharp falls for
listed Chinese tech firms and stoking fear about the future. But observers say the end goal of Beijing's bid for control is not about creating chaos.
STOUT (voice over): It's all part of a top down plan.
STOUT (on camera): Why is this happening?
DAN WANG, TECHNOLOGY ANALYST, GAVEKAL DRAGONOMICS: This isn't simply a power play by Beijing to crush these upstarts, these billionaires these
entrepreneurs, a lot of this crackdown is driven by a political campaigns like common prosperity.
STOUT (voice over): Common prosperity is the prosperity of all the people since Chinese President Xi Jinping as he pledges to redistribute wealth in
China. And let's say the crackdown is out to fix social ills like income inequality, and hyper competition.
WANG: The government believes that these companies are mostly in the business of monetizing status anxiety, in which you have these sales people
from these online education firms really preying on the middle class dreams of sending the kids to the best universities.
STOUT (voice over): There's another force behind the takedown redirecting the sector toward hard tech like semiconductors and AI.
KEYU JIN, ECONOMIST, LONDON SCHOOF OF ECONOMICS: The Chinese government wants to have technological supremacy. That means setting global standards
shaping future technologies, especially in the critical and high tech areas, creating general purpose technologies that will influence economies
all around the world.
STOUT (voice over): That's one reason why influential investors still see opportunity. BlackRock, the world's largest asset manager is reported as
saying investors should as much as triple their allocations in Chinese assets.
Well, Billionaire Hedge Fund Founder Ray Dalio says investors should keep their faith in China writing I urge you to not misinterpret these sorts of
moves as reversals of the trends that have existed for the last several decades and let that scare you away. But as China's sweeping tech crackdown
STOUT (on camera): Could this crackdown kill China's entrepreneurial spirit?
WANG: That's something of considerable debate. A lot of the regulatory crackdown has focused on 10 to 20 of China's best and brightest
entrepreneurs. So these are includes the founders of -- Alibaba, Pinto Dwarf, but I think for the broader masses of entrepreneurs, this is not so
much bothering them.
JIN: Especially in the new generation. These eager young minds are very motivated by China's large markets. They see lots of opportunities.
STOUT (voice over): A sector under siege is also being remade to serve the people and their master planners Kristie Lu stout, CNN, Hong Kong.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Well, the Taliban apparently asked for help in getting the Kabul Airport back up and running, find out who they reached out to and where
that process stands now after this?
ANDERSON: At this hour, a team of Qatari technical experts are in Kabul. Their goal, the source tell CNN is to get the airport back up and running
so that humanitarian flights can resume. Well, the source - Taliban requested the team come and the talks are focused on airport security and
Meantime, back in Doha, a special representative for Prime Minister, a British Prime Minister Boris Johnson meeting with senior Taliban officials,
he is trying to secure the safe passage out of Afghanistan, for British nationals and Afghans who have worked with the UK.
Sam Kiley is in Doha and he is following these developments. Look, Doha emerging as a key player here in the future of Afghanistan. It's been
involved, of course, in hosting these talks between the U.S. and the Taliban over the past couple of years. What's the strategy here, Sam?
SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the last week, I spoke to the foreign minister here and I've been speaking to officials ever
since. And they're very clear about what they want out of this process and how they see their role here in Doha playing out which is to be
interlocutors, between many others, such as the Britishers.
We're seeing with this visit - now or indeed the Americans, whether they have bilateral relations with the Taliban or through Doha, but all of this
being aimed at persuading the Taliban to make good on their promises for an inclusive government a more moderate approach to political Islam, an
And they believe that those are the levers that can be used as well in terms of influence on the Taliban is to say to the Taliban, look, if you
participate with the international community, the international community will participate with you, you need trade, you need aid, you need to get
your airport open and so on.
And they believe that they are getting that message through but they're also not naive. They know that the Taliban is a Hydra headed base that
there are many, many hardliners, including people at the very top of the Taliban, who may well be disinclined entirely disinclined to participating
in elections, reverting to the very hardline ideology that they came to power will fuel their return - the original seizure of power back in 1996,
But they are - sorry; also, they also worked very hard on trying to get this app to open. The Taliban originally approached the Turks over that.
ANDERSON: Do these sources that you've been speaking to in Qatar? Do they genuinely believe as many are suggesting that this is a Taliban 2.0? This
is a softer, kinder group. Is that the sense that you are getting?
And is there any concern behind the scenes that this approach that they're taking could backfire on them? After all, there are, there are neighbors in
the Middle East who will be watching this relationship very, very closely, won't they?
KILEY: They're in no way naive about this relationship, Becky, informally and actually, even formally, they will say, look, we don't know which
direction the Taliban are going to go in. We know what direction they need to go in.
And they're in lockstep with the international community, particularly with the west on what they think the Taliban should be doing. And we've heard
from the United States, the G7 and others, they all saying they absolutely lockstep in respect for human rights, particularly women's rights, and so
That is what they are hoping for. They are hoping to help the Taliban get to the position at which they're sufficiently confident internally, that
there be some perhaps some sufficient reward for doing so, so that the Taliban see it as not a zero sum game, but a positive sum game.
They are very, very aware that there are elements in the Taliban who are not interested in doing that. But they do see themselves as having a key
role in terms of communication with the Taliban, making sure that the Taliban are receiving these messages regularly and loudly and clearly
ANDERSON: Yes, I'm just finally, very briefly one of those who have been evacuated through Doha through the U.S. army base there. Is it clear how
long they'll be there? And what happens next at this point?
KILEY: It's very unclear, Becky. A lot of it will depend on the vetting process, which goes pretty slowly. There are domestic controversies,
particularly from some of the more right wing elements of the Republican Party, making all sorts of allegations against the potential cultural
KILEY: Should we say in the most polite level, that the Afghans may bring basically borderline racist comments that are being worked through. That
means that there has to be absolutely rigid vetting of all evacuees going to the United States and indeed elsewhere, so that there can't be any
slippage in which terrorist or criminal manages to get in.
But that is something that the Qatar is not directly involved with. That's very much out of - airbase of being managed by the State Department, Becky?
ANDERSON: Yes, absolutely. The Qataris though, of course, very much involved in supporting that massive airlift to get so many of those Afghan
civilians out of the country busy times in Qatar. Thank you, Sam.
Well, my next guest says the window for the west to influence policy in Afghanistan is closing fast. Jawed Ludin is the former Afghan Deputy
Foreign Minister and was Chief of Staff under President Hamid Karzai, good to have you. So what do you understand to be the latest developments with
regard negotiations with the Taliban?
And you talk about the fact that the West may be running out of time to use any leverage that it has many will say it doesn't have any leverage. It
left that at the door when it opened these negotiations and these talks with the Taliban two years ago.
JAWED LUDIN, FORMER CHIEF OF STAFF, PRESIDENT HAMID KARZAI: On the first question, in terms of where the negotiations stand, I'm afraid I'm not much
as coming out. But the bit a little bit, I know, is pointing sadly to a negative direction. There's been a stiffening of Taliban position over the
last week as more leaders have arrived in Kabul.
And obviously more people have settled in and in positions of power. We've seen that in a web that appears to be a discontinuation of negotiations
with the leaders that remained in Kabul like President Karzai or Dr. Abdullah, we've also seen it in the sort of total breakdown of negotiations
with the pocket of resistance that remains in --.
And today, as we speak, there is a very fierce fighting going on in - which basically means that the negotiations have not worked. What could be done
on the second question is, well, I'm afraid you're right, that the West has a very little leverage.
Now, we did not stop at the beginning of negotiations, I think negotiation was a good thing that they restarted. But I think it was the way that the
Biden Administration handled the eventual withdrawal and he is wrong.
And basically making it sound like it was a choice between endless deployment of troops and what the way he did it, that kind of essentially
irresponsible withdrawal. I think that there were many infinite numbers of choices in the middle.
And that is when I think the way the total unconditional, abrupt, hasty withdrawal was really what ended the West's leverage, there is still some
diplomatic leverage that's left. But I think rather than spending that leverage in these fragmented, bilateral, sometimes directly, sometimes
facilitated to Qatar, contacts with the Taliban are probably not as effective.
In my own experience, the best way would be that the West now takes the U.N. brings the U.N. forward, gives it all the support that it can through
the United Nations Security Council and brings everybody together.
Because a multilateral engagement right now with the Taliban is much more effective because they say, one foreign minister or one country goes and
speak to them and Qatar and then somebody else comes from the door and tells them something completely different.
So you can't expect the Taliban to be responsive to those kinds of contacts, sporadically fragmented contacts, as much as they would be if you
just basically brought them to the other side of the table and the whole of the international community was the other side of the table.
ANDERSON: OK. Let's talk about that. Because we have seen some effort at the UNSC the UN Security Council vetoed of course, by Russia and by China.
So you are not going to get an agreement on what happens next with regard the Taliban from what we would consider, as it were the international
ANDERSON: So often we perhaps wrongly talk about that international community as the Western countries, we must remember that Russia and China
play a big part here. Two things, you know this country well, clearly, you worked under the administration of the Hamid Karzai leadership.
When you look at these images of this Taliban group in 2021 and you listen to their leadership who have most recently been in Doha, do you see any
evidence of a new, softer, gentler, more compliant Taliban as it were to Western Valleys? Is there any evidence of that as far as you are concerned?
LUDIN: Well, first of all, if I may address the first point that you raised in your question on the veto and the use of security United Nations
Security Council, it is correct that the regional countries and we consider Russia and China as part of the regional countries.
They now feel that - was defeated, that they there's no point in really cooperating with U.S. anymore, that they can actually probably get more
from direct contact with the Taliban themselves. So there is a bit of a shift of balance away from the west towards the regional powers around the
LUDIN: However, when it comes to the future of Afghanistan, when it comes to the fact that the Taliban do have to have a have an inclusive government
and reach out to others in avoid a civil war on that one, the regional countries actually are on the same page as the U.S. would be.
LUDIN: Or as Europe would be. So I think that has to -- and these have actually been reflected in several U.N. Security Council statements
recently. So they've not been vetoed by China or Russia. So I think that there is an opportunity, but it has been --. But if I may, if you want me I
can comment on the second question in terms of when the Taliban have changed.
I think it's, you know, that's it, we will have to, you know, the fact remains that they are in power, they are in Kabul. So it's kind of
irrelevant, whether they have changed or not, because we are going to see soon.
I personally think that there are some ways in which they have changed, and its change is inevitable. But then, but some change may not necessarily be
for positive because then they are engaging with the world now, which they didn't back in the 90s.
But on the other hand, back in the 90s, they weren't very vengeful, but today they may be vengeful, because they think that they fought for 20
years. And now they've rightfully won the war and they probably will unleash their anger on people that they saw as collaborators.
ANDERSON: And one of those might certainly have been in the policy lead, at least haven't caught sight, you know, the man well. And you will be well
aware that along with Abdullah, there is some sense that they are keen to or are willing to take a role or play a role in any government. And going
forward is this is this opportunistic of Hamid Karzai?
LUDIN: I'm surprised to see it that really, Becky because I think --
ANDERSON: I don't I'm just asking you - I'm not suggesting I do. I'm just asking you a question.
LUDIN: Because they're not quite on the contrary. In fact Hamid Karzai, I don't think he sees, I mean, I don't speak for him anymore. That was a long
time ago when I did.
But I think from what I understand and this applies to both of them is not just Karzai, but also Dr. Abdullah, that they see is not as something about
a role for a particular person.
This is fundamentally about reconciliation, about this, you know, we have, we have a total sellout, a corrupt person for a president who ran away. But
somebody has to just want to stay behind and speak to these people, speak for the Islamic Republic, that the one that we were all part of, and very
proudly and I still in.
But they stay behind to speak to the Taliban not just for a position for themselves, but for those who were in the previous government now.
And I think the Taliban will be well advised to not see this as a, you know, as basically a victory a total victory that that's for them to just
celebrate, because victory may have been easier to achieve governing Afghanistan is not going to be easy to do. They should have the reach out
to all segments of society not necessarily people.
LUDIN: You know I'm not talking about individuals who were in the previous government; it could be new faces that are acceptable that give people more
confidence that give the international community more confidence that the Taliban can -- the government.
ANDERSON: Fascinating. Thank you. And I hope you weren't offended by the question. It was a question. It certainly wasn't my opinion. That's what
I'm here for; to pose the questions and I very much appreciate you entertaining that question.
Thank you, sir. Good to have you. Up next from pop star to - the Afghan celebrity Aryana Sayeed fled Kabul after the Taliban threatened her life.
She tells us about what happened on her journey and what life is like under the Taliban.
ANDERSON: We have been getting you the very latest from Kabul showing you these stern faces of Taliban commandos or soldiers or those of war weary
refugees in transit to what they hope will be a better life. But just a short while ago, this was the face on voice of modern Afghanistan.
Until last month, Aryana Sayeed, pop star and TV host appeared to leave a life of fame and glamour, perform it packed concerts launching our own
clothing brand. The Taliban hated her for her promotion of Western culture and women's rights. But she knew how to protect herself continuing her
She made documentaries and she performed for example at Ghazi Stadium in Kabul. You may remember that that was the site of Taliban executions of
women when the group was last in power.
But Sayeed fled Afghanistan on August the 17th, sharing her journey with a 1.4 million Instagram followers. And I'm very pleased to say that Aryana
joins us from the safety of Istanbul today. It's a pleasure having you on. I know things aren't easy at present. I just wonder whether you can tell us
a little bit about why you left when you did and about how you got out.
ARYANA SAYEED, AFGHAN SINGER, SONGWRITER AND TV PERSONALITY: Becky, it's an honor to be speaking to you. It was a very hard decision for me to make.
But of course, you know Afghanistan and the situation just changed overnight and I was left with no choice but to flee. Unfortunately, since
Taliban just took over Kabul, the capital where I was living at.
SAYEED: And then, you know, I was scared for my life. And I was scared of being caught alive, because I always already was a target of Taliban for
many, many years. Since I've spent like 10 years in Afghanistan and I was doing all these talent shows, and I was a very outspoken, you know, person
talking about women's rights and things like that.
So it was quite dangerous for me, you know, to stay there and I had to, I had to leave unfortunately.
ANDERSON: When you say that you've been a target in the past, and that they've threatened your life, how I think our viewers will be fascinated to
hear just what it is like to be Aryana, do you know what you were doing in Afghanistan in the lead up to August 17?
SAYEED: I mean, you know the life I have had in Afghanistan past 10 years, it hasn't been easy at all, it's been very challenging. You know,
basically, I was in Afghanistan, but it was as if I am living in a prison because I was not allowed to go anywhere, you know, except for the premises
of the TV station where I was working for.
And I was getting, usually messages from NDS, Afghanistan, this is the secret police of Afghanistan and you know, they would always get a message
from their people who would, who was who would work between the Taliban, and they will tell us OK, for example, this week, you're, you're going to
be under attack, you got a target, you have to hide and you're not allowed to get out.
So this is how I would find out that, you know, I am a target and that I have to stay indoors. And for me, that was the life always but you know,
the only reason why I was doing that is just because, you know, so many women and children in Afghanistan, they look up to me.
And I would you know, I was happy to just give out a message of, you know, unity and love and peace in Afghanistan and just positive energy. I was a
judge on The Voice Afghanistan, and then I was a judge on African star. I did the African superstar. And during all these years, that was my life.
And it was really difficult. But I was - energetic. I didn't lose my hope. I was giving hope to people. And I was trying to be the voice for the
voiceless. But and I had to obviously, I have to mention that. Even when I had to go somewhere, for example, I had to go around with the armored
vehicle and with bodyguards. That was literally my life in Afghanistan and it was not easy at all.
ANDERSON: Aryana, how did you get out? And what is your plan now?
SAYEED: Well, it was very challenging since I was actually initially booked on a flight on 15th of August. And that's this is the date when Taliban
actually took over Kabul. And my flight was at eight o'clock, eight o'clock, and then unfortunately, Taliban took over and the flight never
And then the next day, I had to replan to make my journey to the airport, which was really, really hard. We actually passed through like five Taliban
checkpoints, one of them actually stopped our car and they looked inside the car.
And unfortunately, I had a family of my fiance with us with a child and they thought, OK, this is a normal family. And they didn't ask for my
identification and stuff like that. I got lucky there. And then I made it, you know, to the airport, where the American army bases and eventually they
accepted my UK passport, even though they were only allowing UK American citizens.
But they allowed me to get in and my fiance who was a Canadian citizen and they rescued us with a C17 army airplane. And now here I am, you know,
finally after a week of traveling and everything I've settled in my home in Istanbul, but honestly, like in my heart is still in Afghanistan. My mind
I'm concerned. I'm really worried about our people, especially the women in Afghanistan who's rights is about to be taken away from them just like it
was 20 years ago, and that really concerns me and worries me a lot.
ANDERSON: Right. Aryana, we'll have you back. And I've got to take a short break at this point. We're at the back end of this show, but we wish you
the best and keep up that fight. Please do.
SAYEED: Thank you so much.
ANDERSON: Aryana Sayeed on "Connect the World" back after this.
ANDERSON: Well, you're watching "Connect the World" and it's that time of the show that we get you your parting shots. And tonight it's an exhibition
that won the Golden Lion which is architectures equivalent of winning a gold medal at the Olympics. We hear from one of the curators behind the UAE
wetland pavilion at the Venice Architecture, Biennale, have a look at this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WAEL AL AWAR, CURATOR, NATIONAL PAVILION UAE: The prototype being presented in Venice is not only questioning modern material, but we are also
questioning modern production of space.
The unit's inspired from choral shapes are all drawn by hand into soil and then cast by the NGO cement built from 2400 units we created them proposed
a truly sustainable material derived from the reject - of desalination water.
The message we are sending to the world is that we cannot continue to build our future cities in the same way we are building them today. We need to
find materials that are from our local environments and do not harm our planet.
And the golden line will definitely give us a boost to get the support we need to make this material available for construction.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Well forward thinking there, the best solution based programming for you. Thank you for joining us wherever you are in the world. "One
World" with Larry Madowo is next live from CNN Headquarters. Stay with us.