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CNN's Look at Life Under the Taliban; Spokesman: Hope to Announce New Government in a "Few Days"; Guinean President Alpha Conde Arrested in Military Coup; Afghan Woman Fear Losing Freedom, Despite Taliban Promises; Pollinating Power; Millions of Mexican Students Return to School for First Time. Aired 11a-12p ET
Aired September 06, 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: And this hour after weeks of fighting, the Taliban claimed victory in Panjshir, the last remaining
opposition holdout in Afghanistan. I'm Becky Anderson hello and welcome back to "Connect the World".
The Taliban say their takeover of Afghanistan is complete. Announcing today their fighters have, "Completely conquered the last pocket of resistance in
the Panjshir Valley", a video posted on social media claiming to show the Taliban flag going up near the Governor's Office in the Provincial Capital.
The National Resistance Front, as they are known, says its forces are still present in positions across the province and it's a leader Ahmad Massoud is
calling on all Afghans inside and outside the country's borders to join a national uprising against the Taliban saying military pressure will not
lessen the resolve to continue the fight.
Well, in Kabul meantime, the airport resuming operations for domestic and aid flight. Taliban spokesman saying the group is working to get the
airport back to normal he also says the new government should be announced within a few days.
Let's get you two Journalists Ben Farmer, who is joining us again today from Kabul, you heard the words there of Ahmad Massoud. And what does he
mean? Just how significant is this region? And what is their fight at this point?
BEN FARMER, JOURNALIST: Well, this is a very significant region. It's the last part of Afghanistan, which was holding out against the Taliban. And it
also has a great historical significance because it's a valley rugged mountain valley that held out against the Soviets, and then held it out
against the Taliban in the 1990s.
So it has a history of stubborn resistance. The reason - those who are worth opposing the Taliban moved there in recent weeks. And they said that
they would continue to resist that, as even mentioned, the Taliban say that they have now claimed complete conquest of this rally.
They've released pictures, raising their wide banner above government buildings in the province. The resistance forces say that that is not the
case. They say that they are in strategic positions across the valley. The valley has got a number of side valleys, running off the main drag.
But we do know that they were in very difficult - a very difficult situation in recent days, they had lost ground, the Taliban have definitely
got a long way into the valley. And overnight, the resistance forces said that they called on the international community to help prevent a
humanitarian crisis, and to help forge some kind of political negotiation to solve the fighting.
So although they are not there, they say they're still holding out. We know that they've been in very difficult straits.
ANDERSON: We also know that there are members of the international community, not least, the Pakistanis, who are in conversation with the
Taliban, about what they will do with regard governance going forward?
We know who will run the country, that being the Taliban, how they will run the country is as yet an unanswered question. Is it becoming any clearer at
FARMER: It's not clear yet, because we've been waiting for the Taliban to announce the government for some days now. They've been saying day by day
that it's coming imminently. We still don't have a decision.
Now, that's raised speculation that perhaps they were waiting to announce until they had cleared the Panjshir, or its raised speculation that they
were waiting to announce, because there's some kind of internal disagreement.
All the Taliban spokesman would say again, when he was questioned on this - this morning was that it's coming soon. When that announcement is made,
things to look for are that the leader is, and also how much they are man - they include other parts of Afghanistan, not just the Taliban?
They've said he wants to be an inclusive government, whether they include leaders from other factions or other political parties. But if they do, I
think most people think it will just be a token effort. The Taliban hold all the cards at the moment.
ANDERSON: Well, that's the story on the ground with regards governance. Ben, thank you. As we wait to see what kind of shape then Afghan
uncertainty government will take? We are getting a look at some of the changes that are already in place.
The country's union of universities submitted a proposal to the Taliban about how to deal with male and female students, taking classes together?
Well, the Taliban approved new rules separating male and female students where they curtain you can see here in these pictures.
ANDERSON: These are from the Capital. The plan also urges universities to try to hire female professors for female students. It says that until then,
"Efforts should be made to appoint elderly professors who are well known for being trustworthy to teach female students".
Well, those pictures are coming to us from Kabul; we are getting a look outside of Kabul, where poverty is an inescapable part of life Nic
Robertson, with help from local journalists with an exclusive look at life under the most recent Taliban rule in rural Afghanistan.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR (voice over): Inside the new Afghanistan, in rural - province, far from Kabul, the Taliban's
provincial governor has called a meeting, no women to be seen. Local village elders and tribal chiefs listen.
A young boy takes a selfie much has changed since the Taliban were lost in charge smartphones and social media but poverty still the country's biggest
SYED KANDAHARI, TALIBAN BORDER COMMANDER: We have many expectations, and we are praying the Taliban will deliver.
ROBERTSON (voice over): The week after Kabul fell a local journalist took a road trip for us to see what was happening outside the capital. Taliban
guides showed him the way at the border changes already underway part charm offensive giving traders what they want longer opening hours at the border
and park crack down keeping men and women apart.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let me tell you, before we had one single line for both men and women, now we have two. They are kept apart.
ROBERTSON (voice over): Pakistani officials easing into the new relationship backing the segregation. On this journey two things become
clear, Afghanistan's near financial collapse and the hard switch to religious rule. Spotting a crowd, the team stop it's a provincial
courthouse inside local leaders careful to praise the new boss.
We used to have to go a long way to get to a Taliban court he says. Now we have one right here the new judge in town quite literally laying down the
Taliban law, their interpretation of Islamic law.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We asked the previous judges how they used to work. They said they were following the law of the land, not the Sharia. In Islamic
Emirate all court proceedings are according to the Sharia law.
ROBERTSON (voice over): Under Taliban rule in the 1990s, the Taliban's Sharia law led to public amputations for thieves, stoning of adulterers,
even hanging. But in the local market Sharia law is not the big concern. It's making a living.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Business is very bad. We don't know who's in charge. Only low rank people are here. We don't know if we can trust them. They're
not telling us anything and the situation has not improved. Prices are going up.
ROBERTSON (voice over): In business is down. It's not only me he says the business is bad in the market. It's not as good as before. They're not
alone. The local pharmacist is also struggling. Stocks already depleted under the last government.
The clinics' maternity nurse also worried about finances says the previous government didn't pay her for the past four months and she can't afford to
go home. Closer to Kabul, another doctor more problems Day and night he says we get 25 to 30 patients can we have just one doctor and one nurse for
them all. Outside the hospital the Taliban claim an alternate reality.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Before you didn't know whether the doctor was coming or not. But now they are there for you all the time.
ROBERTSON (voice over): On this trip, the Taliban's prioritizing of Sharia law and bits of charm offensive, seemingly missing Afghans most important
needs a secure livelihood.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Nic Robison joining me now from Islamabad and that report put together with the help of a local journalist. Nic, it's still very much
unclear. What this new government will look like? We know the Pakistanis are heavily involved in discussions with the Taliban.
ANDERSON: We saw Pakistan's Intelligence Chief in Kabul over the weekend meeting with senior Taliban leaders. You're in Islamabad; you're talking to
your sources? What are you hearing?
ROBERTSON: Yes, it's really not clear what if any, the government here in Pakistan can exert over the Taliban? You know, back in the day, while the
Taliban were fighting U.S. forces, they were sanctuary given by elements in Pakistan sanctuary given to the Taliban support given to the Taliban.
Now, the Taliban are in Kabul is a sort of a rerun of I think what Pakistan experienced in the 1990s as well. The birth of the Taliban back then
Pakistan saw them as a good vehicle to have some leverage in Kabul. They will read about the room strategic depth, but when the Taliban got in power
back, then they didn't listen to Pakistan, so much.
So right now Pakistan got a big problem on its doorstep and that is that with a Taliban in power in Kabul, if they don't fix the economy, don't get
on with the international community, Pakistan will bear a financial burden, it will bear a burden of refugees and a potential burden from terrorism.
Already, the Pakistan Taliban, who are harbored inside Afghanistan are wrapping their attacks against the Pakistan border. They've said that they
want to create an independent sort of border area inside Pakistan.
So it's vital for the Pakistan's government to try to get to the Taliban to a place where they have a government that's recognizable to the
international community that can be accepted by the international community so that economic projects can begin and there can be stability in
But they also seemed here to be somewhat frustrated and a little surprised and perplex that it's still taking the Taliban so long to announce the
government because every day means the economy is getting worse. And that is - that just brings closer to the day when Pakistan really gets that
ANDERSON: Yes, the story today very much in Panjshir Valley, which is Afghanistan, sort of final stronghold of resistance that the Taliban now
claim to have captured. You were there over 20 years ago, I remember your reporting from there, you interviewed then Leader of the Resistance, Ahmed
Shah Massoud, the father, of the current leader, his picture of the two of you. And I just want our viewers to have a listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERTSON (on camera): Attempts to broker a lasting peace have so far failed, and now the United Nations is reconsidering what role the countries
bordering Afghanistan will play in any future talks?
In the past, those six countries have pledged not to provide military assistance to either side in the conflict. But now the United Nations says
that international involvement is not only continuing, but increasing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: And you know what? If I hadn't seen the dateline on those images, you might easily have thought that this was now because so much of what you
said is still very much and today's narrative, just walk us through the significance of this area, if you will, and exactly what you understand to
be going on?
ROBERTSON: It's significant because it's been the sort of heartland of resistance inside Afghanistan. It's been the heartland because they
withstood that the Soviet forces it's been the heartland because they withstood the Taliban back in the late 90s.
It's important because the commander I was meeting back then the charismatic Former Defense Minister, Ahmad Shah Massoud who was killed two
days before 9/11, by a suicide bomber sent by Al Qaeda is a special treat for the Taliban to take down the Panjshir Valley resistance.
His son, who was educated at a British Military College is the sort of commander up there now or was until the Taliban events. So this is the
heartland and I think that's important. And what Ahmad Massoud the sun has called for today is to a national resistance.
I think one point for our audience to take away from all of this, Becky is this. It's very simple. The Taliban didn't get to power today by
compromise. They fought their way there for it and they fought through this tough resistance valley.
The - of that is that they can expect to resistance that will fight against them because they didn't bring parties together to manage the country
together. Maybe that's what we see in the government, but we haven't seen it yet. So this, if you will, is the seat of the future resistance that the
Taliban will likely face.
ANDERSON: Nic Robertson with important analysis Nic, thank you. Nic is in Islamabad.
ANDERSON: Of course in Pakistan now look, the U.S. amongst others looking ahead on the diplomatic front and at the same, of course getting remaining
Americans out of Afghanistan. Secretary of State Antony Blinken just arriving as we speak in Qatar.
Qatar, of course, playing a key role with evacuations and now in getting the Kabul Airport back open later this week Blinken co-hosts a virtual
conference of U.S. allies amongst whom they will consider Doha a clear friend and that will be held from Germany.
CNN's Sam Kiley has been on the ground for us in Qatar these past few weeks. He joins us now, as we look at these pictures of the U.S's top
diplomat arriving in Doha, Sam. And while the optics on this are clear, you know, Antony Blinken wants to thank, because - for what they have done
before he moves on to that important base in Germany.
Behind the scenes, you know, he could have picked up the phone to say thanks. And he's been tweeting out his thanks to Qatar now, for some days.
What's the strategy here by the U.S.'s top diplomat? Why is it important that he is in Doha today?
SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: What's the strategy here? I think Becky is exactly the question that the Qatari hosts
eventually Blinken are going to be asking, and they kind of know the answer. And that's true.
Where you are in the Emirates is true in Saudi Arabia. It's true throughout the Gulf, which is the United States in terms of Middle East policy is on
the retreat. It's a retreat as messy diplomatically, as the evacuation of all of those people from Kabul appeared certainly in the initial stages.
This is a retreat in terms of military influence. It's a retreat in terms of diplomatic presence. And it's a retreat in terms of strategic importance
from the Gulf. There's just no sugarcoating that. And there's no way of hiding it, internally that Qatar is a very much aware of that.
They had Saudis, the Emiratis, many of them, particularly the Saudis, beginning to inch towards some sort of a relationship, opening up avenues
of communication with Tehran. In the past, it has been the Iranian threat that has united many people in the Gulf alongside the United States, but
with the United States focus beginning to shift towards China and Russia.
The strategic presence of the United States here is very limited. And furthermore, Becky, I have to say that there is a very strong feeling,
indeed, following what happened in Afghanistan that the United States is an unreliable ally.
That whole attitude grew under President Obama was deeply entrenched in many ways under Trump, and certainly has been driven home in no uncertain
terms by the collapse of the Afghan army, the evaporation of the support for the air wings for the whole air operation of the Afghan army, which
arguably led to its collapse.
So there is a strong feeling here that Blinken and the White House have quite a lot of work to do just to reassure their Gulf allies. But I think I
may have just lost communication to Becky I'm going to redial just in case. You can get me back.
ANDERSON: Don't worry. You are as ever so erudite in your narrative that we've probably exhausted what I needed to do with you. So thank you for
that Sam Kiley in Doha for you. And a reminder that Lloyd Austin, the Secretary of State for Defense in the UAE this week, you can see the U.S.
moving around this region to some of its key allies.
And as Sam pointed out, those allies will be asking what next with regard U.S. strategic influence in this region? Well the Taliban deny carrying out
the gruesome killing of a female police officer in the central - province. Witnesses say Taliban militants stormed the woman's house tied up her
family and killed her in front of her children.
The victim, who was pregnant, worked at a local prison. The Taliban say they are investigating the crime. The group has promised amnesty for those
who worked for the former government and more rights for women but many are skeptical.
You're watching "Connect the World" I'm Becky Anderson. Coming up a woman held at a high level position in the deposed Afghan government forced to
flee after the Taliban took over. Former Afghan Commerce Official Kamila Sidiqi joining the show.
Plus, Guinea's military tightens its grip on power of the arresting the president what soldiers bands do next and what that means for Africa and
its influence elsewhere, coming up?
ANDERSON: Well, members of Guinea's military are promising a new Union Government a day after ousting the country's first democratically elected
president, leaders of the coup they arrested Alpha Conde because of endemic corruption and poverty.
They also say dissolve the constitution set up checkpoints around the capital and summoned outgoing officials to a meeting in parliament. David
McKenzie following the developments for us he joins us from Johannesburg. And what are your sources telling you on the ground about the details of
what is unfolded that?
DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, we know the details in terms of that Alpha Conde; the 83-year-old President is no longer in power. This was
a coup that was orchestrated by the Special Forces of the country led by Mamady Doumbouya.
Now you had these extraordinary scenes of that coup orchestrator Doumbouya and his followers is sitting at a podium facing the former leaders of that
nation, very senior government officials that he had summoned in an invite. And I use that term loosely, of course, to the capital to discuss the terms
of their take over.
The very fact that those government officials showed up to that call from the incoming leaders, or at least the power at this stage shows that they
immediately give it some legitimacy - legitimacy excuse me, despite the fact of course that the regional bloc, the African Union, the U.S. State
Department, the French, the Russians, everyone in the international community, frankly has condemned this coup.
ANDERSON: If it succeeds, Guinea's coup will be the latest in what has been a string of violent takeovers in West Africa. What are the consequences
here for the wider world?
MCKENZIE: I think the consequences will be played out in the coming days, of course, international communities, the partners, including especially
France and the U.S. will be watching the level of stability in the country.
You mentioned Mali, where there was a coup and then kind of another coup and also very murky transition of power in Chad. And just a sense that
leaders like Conde who basically extended his power into a third term, very unpopular amongst the population, and also was widely accused of
You know, there are several other leaders in that region and in other parts of the continent that would be feeling relatively nervous right now. Of
course, every country has its own political dynamics on the continent.
MCKENZIE: But this is a sign at least in West Africa, that these military officers in this case someone who was a former legionnaire, a French
Foreign Legion, as well as at least in part trained by the U.S. Special Forces had the organizational skills and the gumption to take over the
nation. And I think it does send a very serious warning shot to the rest of that region.
ANDERSON: David McKenzie on the story for you. Thank you, David. I want to connect you to Israel now folks were a manhunt is underway after six
Palestinian prisoners escaped. It happened at Gilboa Prison which is between the Sea of Galilee in Israel and the West Bank town of Jeanine.
One of the escapees is a commander in the militant wing of - while the others are part of Islamic Jihad, Andy Carey with more from Jerusalem for
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANDREW CAREY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Israeli investigators shine a light through a small opening in the floor of a prison cell. Hours earlier
six Palestinian security prisoners at apparently squeezed through this narrow drop and made their escape.
They located an existing underground passage built as part of the prisons foundations. As Israeli TV explained, it was then just a 100 foot crawl
underground and out through a hole just yards from the prison wall.
First word of the breakout had come in the middle of the night when authorities were notified by locals of suspicious activity around the
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A manhunt has been underway for the last few hours and our aim is to capture the escapees as soon as possible. There is no need
for people in the area to change their routines.
CAREY (voice over): Among the six on the run is - he led fighters of the Al Aqsa martyrs brigade in Jeanine in the North of the West Bank during the
Second Intifada. He was rearrested two years ago accused of involvement in shooting attacks on civilians. The other five are all said to be members of
Islamic Jihad serving sentences for terrorism offenses.
In Gaza, Islamic Jihad loyalists celebrated the breakout, which the group called a heroic act; they handed out sweets to drivers and passersby. For
Israeli authorities, though it's a significant embarrassment. A similar breakout attempt from the same Gilboa prison in the North of Israel was
made in 2014 but foiled.
Security officials will be worried at this time at the prospect of potentially violent confrontations, if their search for the escaped man
takes them into Palestinian towns and cities. Andrew Carey, CNN, Jerusalem.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Coming up a crumbling economy before the Taliban retook control Afghanistan was already one of the poorest countries in the world. Now its
citizens face higher prices, further unemployment and long lines at banks.
ANDERSON: We'll get back to Afghanistan - few now earlier we heard about the importance of Kabul airport in evacuating the last stranded Americans.
Now we are getting word that some of them have left Afghanistan overland.
The U.S. State Department official says that America helped four Americans cross the border into an unidentified third country more on that story as
we get it.
Well, inside the country, the Taliban say their takeover of Afghanistan is complete announcing today their fighters have, "completely conquered the
last pocket of resistance in what is known as the Panjshir Valley".
This video was posted on Twitter today the description saying see Taliban raising their flag at the governor's office there. But a spokesman for the
National Resistance front denies the Taliban have complete control. He tells CNN resistance forces are still in strategic positions across the
Well, that outcome may be uncertain. But one thing we know for sure, prices for basic goods in Kabul have skyrocketed. And simple bank withdrawals are
a struggle and it's not just in Kabul, we're getting reports from across the country.
Afghanistan's economy is already one of the poorest in the world. Anna Stewart looks at what people are facing under Taliban rule.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANNA STEWART, CNN REPORTER (voice over): Banks are open again in Afghanistan, but it takes hours even a whole day to reach the front of the
line. And then withdrawals are limited to 20,000 Afghanis around $200, which has to last a week.
A journalist in Kabul working with CNN has seen prices for basic necessities skyrocket. In just two weeks petrol prices are 140 percent
higher. Cooking oil is up 63 percent. And basic food items like rice, flour and sugar are all significantly more expensive. It's adding pressure on
people after weeks of upheaval.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've been unemployed and sitting at home for 17 or 18 days. And this isn't easy because we have rent electricity bills and other
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I do not feel well. Everyone fled. And there are no work opportunities in Afghanistan at all.
STEWART (voice over): Afghanistan was already one of the poorest countries in the world, facing rampant corruption and dependence on foreign aid.
Around 75 percent of the previous government's budget came from overseas grants according to the World Bank.
Now the U.S. has blocked the Taliban from accessing Afghanistan's foreign reserves. And the IMF, the EU and the World Bank have suspended payments.
ABDUL FITRAT, FORMER GOVERNOR, CENTRAL BANK OF AFGHANISTAN: Now the Taliban has only access to roughly $100 million dollar in cash inside the country.
STEWART (voice over): Only $100 million, but Afghanistan's reserves are a little under $10 billion. But is all of that overseas?
FITRAT: Correct. And majority of them are in U.S. and less than half in Europe.
STEWART (voice over): Should the international community unblock the reserves? Should they give financial aid to the Taliban to help the people?
FITRAT: No, if they have access to Afghanistan's reserves, they will not spend that for the benefit of the population. They will transfer some of
that money to their international terrorist colleagues in the country to the terrorist groups. We saw that examples of that in the past.
STEWART (voice over): Eight organizations are already warning of a healthcare system facing collapse and food shortages. Without recognition
from the international community, it seems the Taliban could struggle to govern a country. They fought so long to control. Anna Stewart, CNN,
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Well, joining us now from London tonight is Kamila Sidiqi, a former Afghan Deputy Commerce Minister; she's an entrepreneur in the sea
and founder of the Kaweyan Group. I hope I'm pronouncing that properly, a business development company, Kamila Sidiqi fled Afghanistan after the
And you are joining us tonight, as I say from London and thank you. Before we get into the economy, I want to just talk to you about your story, your
You managed to flee Afghanistan and what was a very tiresome journey. It was one though that allowed you to and that reuniting with your family.
Just briefly tell us about that.
KAMILA SIDIQI, FORMER AFGHAN DEPUTY COMMERCE MINISTER: First of all, thank you so much to give me a chance to be in this discussion. Yes, I was in
Kabul and I never expected what happened in Kabul. My flight was on 20th of August to come to London. I received a lot of messages from different
friends and colleagues, the Taliban came to Kabul.
My friend, Gayle Lemmon, she is the author of the book, The Dressmaker of Khair Khana. She's my friend, and she sent me a message and asked me that,
where are you? I said that I'm in Kabul.
And she helped me to get out from Kabul exactly the same days, the 15, the same day the Taliban came to Kabul. I was arrive in the airport at 7:30 in
the morning, and then at 11 o'clock, I received message from my colleagues and friends that Taliban is in Kabul.
And then we try, it takes a lot of time to fly from Kabul and takes seven hours in the plane. Then we, I came from Kabul to - land and then in
Germany and now I'm in London.
ANDERSON: I know that you feared that staying in Kabul would be a risk. You've lived under the Taliban, of course, before how much faith do you
have that this is a group transform the so called Taliban 2.0, that will indeed manifest itself for the betterment of Afghans on the ground? Do you
have any faith in that?
SIDIQI: It has, you know, that as you mentioned that I was very active and in private sector, and also I was working as a deputy chief officer - for
three years. And then as the Deputy Minister of Commerce, two years and I was involved in private sector development since 2004.
And before that, when the Taliban came to Afghanistan and there is a book about my work in private sector, that how we create jobs for other people,
and also who we support and I support my family. In this case, it was a big risk for me to be in Kabul.
ANDERSON: Let's talk about the economy, the World Bank, the IMF and others have frozen funds to Afghanistan. You only have to watch the currency to
see that there is absolutely no faith in what is going on at present currency plummeting the price of goods soaring.
And people frankly suffering in what was already one of the poorest countries in the world. How do you expect the Taliban to navigate this from
your experience? I mean, how soon do you believe this economy could collapse?
SIDIQI: As you know that the economy - has collapsed in Kabul. And there is no work there is no business all the offices are closed. They announced
that they will open the office and they will support private sector.
But they're very busy and the war with Panjshir and other place in Kabul, my request is that my expectation is that they have to come; they have to
focus more on peace, peace and negotiation with Panjshir and the other people.
And focus more to form the government and also to support people because majority of people that they work in the government, they were waiting for
their salary, I have contact with families and friends that they face with a lot of challenges.
And as I am of contact with the private sector, majority of companies are closed and some of the money that they transfer to their company, they
couldn't get the money to deliver and start their business. In this case, people in private sector and also the local people in the community, they
faced with a lot of challenges.
Taliban should focus more on the economy of Afghanistan and also they should think about peace. And then there was their time for the war.
ANDERSON: The Afghan economy in the past propped up by aid to the tune of some 75 percent of GDP much of that, of course, coming from the U.S. So
that is not something that the Taliban will be able to rely on going forward.
But we are it is clear that the Taliban had means not least the poppy industry and heavily taxing trade in the country. And one assumes that much
of that will continue. The Taliban is also looking to the Chinese and others, but particularly to the Chinese who they are courting at present.
ANDERSON: How significant a role do you believe China might play in propping up or certainly helping a Taliban government going forward? I'm
talking about economics, specifically here, if indeed, the IMF, the World Bank, Europeans, other Western international entities pull their support.
SIDIQI: First of all, African people should think about the solution and think about the business opportunity, because Afghanistan is a land of
business opportunity. And they have to think about the economics of Afghanistan as I had an interview on New York Times on 2005.
And I mentioned that I'm really concerned about my campaign, because most of the people, they just think about NGO development, which was very, very
effective for such a situation that right now we need the help of other international people.
But Afghanistan has a lot of resources and people should think and people should do shouldn't wait for China or for India or for Turkey to come and
help us in this case.
They have to think about economic empowerment and they have to focus on business opportunities in Afghanistan and they should think about business
and some job for other people to be sustainable in the future.
ANDERSON: This is the Former Finance Minister speaking to CNN earlier, have a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANWAR UL-HAQ AHADY, FORMER AFGHAN FINANCE MINISTER: But I think probably in terms of supplies, there should be enough for other two or three weeks.
Normally, traders have enough supplies for a month, a month and a half. But I think if additional supplies were not to come, then we will have problem.
And that really depends on payment; the system of payment has been disrupted. The central bank is involved in payment of international trade,
some of that payment is done directly to correspondent banking, a lot of is done through the central bank and the central bank assets have been frozen.
So unless that problem is resolved, then I think we will have a very serious problem very soon.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: And it is it's that sort of narrative that the West must be concerned about very briefly, can the Taliban be trusted? And I'm talking
about, you know, the idea that the IMF and others may, at some point unfreeze these funds in order to help the people of Afghanistan whoever is
running the government going for, can they be trusted?
SIDIQI: As you know that right now, Taliban cannot manage to announce their government and form the government and they need a lot of time. And if the
international countries, international communities and western countries recognize them, it will be easy for the IMF and some other international
organization to trust them.
Otherwise, it is very difficult that how the people will help a country that there is no system and there is no trust for the bank and all the
other economic section.
ANDERSON: With that, we'll leave it there. Kamila, thank you very much indeed for joining us. Let's see a picture in Afghanistan at present, the
son of the late Libyan Leader Muammar Gaddafi is out of custody.
The unity government says Al-Saadi Gaddafi has been released four years after murder and other charges were dropped. He fled after the uprising
that killed his father but was extradited from the jail in 2014.
You're watching "Connect the World". I'm Becky Anderson. Coming up on the show nature's most powerful pollinators how protecting the bees has reaped
rewards beyond the hive.
ANDERSON: Well, now to "Call to Earth", now if you're a regular viewer of this show, you will know this is CNN's initiative to promote a more
sustainable future for all of us for our planet. Here's a sweet story then for you, where honey collected switch from bee-burning to bee-keeping and
the positive effects on local agriculture has got the food economy,--
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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sometimes you think that the only thing that they do is honey those bees, these little creatures; they're much more than just
honey. On the tropical island of Principe they catered off the west coast of Africa, the food economy is heavily reliant on imports, especially from
In its quest to become more self-sufficient, the islanders make a beeline for the planet's most efficient pollinators.
LAURA BENITEZ BOSCO, PROJECT MANAGER, FAUNA & FLORA INTERNATIONAL: We depend on the bees for everything that we eat a lot of products, a lot of
varieties and they do all of these for free and we don't even notice them. Without bees, our crops are much less productive.
Ever wanting tree bites that you take every day from your food depends on bees. For example, coffee can produce three times more if you have bees. So
if you have coffee in your mornings, thanks to the bees - and Principe people used to burn the bees. So we're just guys climbing the trees without
beekeeping suit or any protection just burning the whole thing and just take the wild honey.
JOSE PEREIRA, BEEKEEPER: I used to set fire to this warm; I wouldn't spare a thought for the queen and her workers. I just burned them. But now with
the training I already have, I would never advise anyone to set fire to a hive ever again.
BOSCO: People that work with bees can protect nature, can protect the forest and can be a sustainable alternative. We don't need to stop using
honey we can just find a more efficient way to do it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Since been burning was banned on Principe, over 400 hives per year have been saved. And in turn, the island hopes becomes self-
sustaining as more local food products are being sold in the market.
BOSCO: It's urgent for Principe to try to find a way to produce its own food and don't rely in other countries and other places we need to be
sustainable. And the only way to achieve this is through the bees.
So it's incredible how people here realized very quickly that we the burning the bees, they start to have less fruits and vegetables and less
food in the island.
PEREIRA: Today here on Principe Island, we see that there are many places where bees --. So farmers today are happy because of the bees.
BOSCO: It's a win-win, both from the agriculture and the beekeeper everybody's winning. I wish humans could be more are like bees. As the bees
we need to work together with this land and with other animals with the plants and the forest. We need to protect nature because we are part of the
nature, we are nature.
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ANDERSON: And we'll continue show cast. Let me say that again, we will continue showcasing inspirational environmental stories like this as part
of this initiative at CNN. And do let us know what you are doing to answer the call. You can do that with the #call to earth, we will be right back.
ANDERSON: Students across the globe are returning to school pandemic or not all this week. We are bringing you some of their stories. Today we begin in
Mexico where many parents don't have confidence that schools will be able to keep their kids safe from COVID-19. CNN's Rafael Romo is in the Capitol,
Look, it's been a long haul for many of these kids, some of you who've been out of school for as long as sort of 17 or 18 months.
So you can understand why many of these students will be excited about getting back not just in Mexico, but around the world. But in Mexico
specifically, it's the parents who Rafael are feeling more anxious it seems and the children themselves.
RAFAEL ROMO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes Becky, very simply, they're not convinced that the government has done everything it can to protect the
children. And President Andres Manuel Lopez sort of vowed in July, that all children will return to the classroom by the end of August, rain or shine.
He said pandemic are not what happened on the first day of school. Only 45 percent of students showed up the reason probably has to do with the
concerns we were talking about from parents and teachers who say there's a lack of preparedness at schools around the country to follow the
government's own guidelines to protect children in the middle of the pandemic.
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ROMO (voice over): For the first time in 17 months, these Mexican students are going back to school in person other than blessings and hugs their
return is far from normal. Upon arrival, their hands are sanitized and their temperature checked. Parents seem anxious.
We're in the middle of a pandemic, the highest peak as far as I know. It was not an easy decision. We hope the school has taken the right measures
this father said, asked how she felt about going back to school. The seven year old could only utter one word.
Excited, she said. I'm afraid of getting infected and getting my whole family infected. That's my fear this students said. President Andres Manuel
Lopez Obrador said in July that classes would resume at the end of August rain or shine, pandemic or not.
There are no major risks for children or teenagers, the President said, we can have good control and the pandemic should not be an excuse to keep
schools closed. More than 25 million elementary and middle school students were supposed to resume classes in person in Mexico on August 30.
In the end, less than half showed up. According to figures from the Mexican government, only 45 percent of students showed up on day one, and 52
percent of schools actually managed to open.
ROMO (on camera): Where Mexican schools, teachers, students ready to go back to school given that the country is still in the middle of the
PABLO CLARK, SENIOR RESEARCHER, MEXICAN INSTITUTE FOR COMPETITIVENESS: Unfortunately, most schools are probably not ready to welcome students back
in a safe and efficient manner.
ROMO (voice over): Pablo Clark analyzed Mexico's education system preparedness for reopening and what he found was that some schools didn't
even meet the minimum requirements for a safe return.
CLARK: When parents go to their schools and actually talk to their teachers and to their principals, they realize that there are no conditions to put
The guidelines are coming from the federal government. They see that their schools do not have adequate infrastructure, they do not have access to
ROMO (voice over): Members of a powerful teachers union blocked the President's access to an event in Chiapas recently as a protest for what
they consider a lack of guarantees for the safe return to the classroom. The president's answer - I won't be blackmailed. By the end of May, Mexico
was one of only 23 countries around the world that still kept it schools closed due to the pandemic.
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ROMO: Many of the parents we talked to, here at the Capitol were still hesitant to allow their children to go back to school because it didn't
feel conditions for a safe return were met. But in the end, many decided to still send them back because they were afraid of the long term academic
impact to their children after 17 months away from the classroom.
And there's another factor that may explain why only less than half of students showed up for school on day one, Becky. According to the Mexican
Education Department, nearly 10,000 schools were vandalized during the 17 months they were close to during the pandemic, back to you.
ANDERSON: Thank you. Tomorrow we'll be looking at back to school time in Israel which is struggling with an increasing COVID cases due to that Delta
Variant. Until then, stay safe. Stay well. "One World" with Richard Quest tonight is up next.
RICHARD QUEST, CNN HOST, ONE WORLD: Taliban say they captured the last -- stronghold, the Afghan people wait for answers.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Business is very bad. We don't know who is in charge?
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