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U.N. Secretary General: Afghans Face Collapse Of Country; Obaidullah's Grandfather Was A Notorious Mujahideen Warlord; Concerns Over Future Of Afghans Under Taliban Rule; Californians Vote Tuesday On Whether To Keep Their Governor; Many Afghan Women At Odds Over Their Attire; Djokovic's Grand Slam Hopes Dashed With Loss In U.S. Open Final. Aired 11a- 12p ET
Aired September 13, 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 INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: This hour the people of Afghanistan are facing the collapse of an entire country. That is the stark
warning from the UN Secretary General. I'm Becky Anderson if you're just joining us hello and welcome to "Connect the World".
An urgent warning for Afghanistan and a plea for help from the Secretary General of the United Nations. Antonio Guterres says the Afghan people
facing the - a collapse of the entire country and many of them could run out of food as the winter months.
Guterres speaking at a United Nations Conference in Geneva aimed at raising more than $600 million in aid for Afghanistan, he and other diplomats
painting a very grim picture of a country in crisis even before the Taliban takeover. Guterres says it's essential to get money flowing into the
country and to boost humanitarian access, including more frequent flights into the Kabul Airport. But will the Taliban cooperate?
Well, Nic Robertson connecting us from the Afghan Capital of Kabul tonight. This flash appeal for $600 million to address these immediate needs, relies
on the goodwill of the UN's key donors, many of whom are Western governments who've made it very clear, they have no confidence, at least in
working with the Taliban. Just what are the consequences, how many people rely on aid and why Nic?
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: About 18 million at the moment, that's almost half the population of Afghanistan, relying on aid,
you know, aid made up 40 percent of the GDP here, back under the last government, the previous government.
The country is so dependent on aid because it's poor; they're sort of in humanitarian terms. It's the third worst in the world. It's poor, because
its economy was never strong. It's also poor, because its agriculture has been severely impacted by drought.
So you have a lot of people who are living in desperate and difficult conditions. 90 percent of the people in this country live on less than $2 a
day. So you immediately see from that the margins are thin. International governments who said they won't use humanitarian aid as a bargaining chip
with the Afghan government.
The German Foreign Minister said how the Taliban manage the aid and make sure that it can have free and unfettered and safe access to people across
the country and for aid workers is critical. But he also made this very significant point, I think, which is supplying of immediate humanitarian
aid, is as far as most countries in the international community are willing to go at the moment.
And that really is a signal to the Taliban that unless they measure up to what's expected, they're going to have a tough time delivering on their
economy, and they're going to have a tough time, therefore, running the country, Becky.
ANDERSON: We've heard some harrowing accounts of the Taliban detaining and brutally assaulting reporters at least covering processing Kabul earlier
this week. You've been doing some digging on the ground. What do we know at this point?
ROBERTSON: Yes, Becky, there's actually quite a number of arbitrary detentions going on people disappearing. We don't really have a full
accounting of that picture. But what we do see and have seen, when, you know, people sort of step over a line, if you will, a line that they're not
And this is what happened to some journalists here in Kabul covering a protest a week or so ago. And this was their experience.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERTSON (voice over): Battered and bruised, Kabul journalists, Nemat Naqdi and Taqi Daryabi show the results of a beating they say came at the
hands of the Taliban. The pair was covering an anti-Taliban protest when they were hauled away to a police station.
NEMAT NAQDI, AFGHAN JOURNALIST: They were hitting me with extreme force. And I really thought that this was the end of my life. My left eye has been
hurt so seriously that it is still red. And I am worried that I can't hear anything in my left ear.
ROBERTSON (voice over): Both feel victim of crossing an invisible line of what the Taliban will permit and what they won't?
TAQI DARYABI, AFGHAN JOURNALIST: They declared to the journalists in a press conference that they will be granted permission to continue with
their activities, but only under the Islamic rules.
ROBERTSON (voice over): In Afghanistan's north, the powerful new Taliban Police Chief in Mazar-i-Sharif admits even he doesn't know the limits of
QARI HAQMAL, TALIBAN POLICE CHIEF: Until now, we have not received any specific orders from our chiefs. We are following the rules of the Emirate.
There isn't specific ban on anything.
ROBERTSON (voice over): Across Afghanistan, people are becoming increasingly worried. The Taliban have little idea beyond religious
principles about how to run the country, and may even be divided over how to do it?
There's no work, there's no trade and people have lost confidence this man says no solid economic plan has been presented to the people. People have
no proper understanding of the Taliban's plans.
We can see that that cabinet has not yet been completed. What we can deduct is there are internal differences within the structure of the cabinet. And
this in itself adds to the concerns people already have he says.
A mix of fear and fatalism appears to be filling the void. Some Kabul residents are ignoring the Taliban's previously strict dress codes, no idea
if it's OK, of what could happen if they're caught the lesson of the two journalists, while the Taliban are dithering, potentially in fighting used
every last moment of freedom.
DARYABI: The journalists will not stop; they are people who convey the voice of the population. It is possible that from now on the Taliban
threatened and torture journalists, the continuation of their activities will be deemed as a danger to their government.
ROBERTSON (voice over): An interim government that is yet to fully find its feet.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERTSON: And we got an insight into the sort of divisions that people think are happening inside the Taliban ranks at the moment. Mullah Baradar
the main interlocutor with the United States for negotiations that bought the Taliban to power here in Kabul back that happened - those thoughts went
on in Doha.
Today issued a written statement and an audio message saying contrary to reports, he hadn't been injured in an internal dispute with the Taliban
hadn't been killed in that dispute. I think when you hear that coming from the Taliban leadership they realize that this rumor is very strongly rooted
in the population.
And it also gives you the understanding that perhaps potentially there really are some damaging divisions going on that are holding them back at
the moment, Becky.
ANDERSON: Nic Robertson on the story for us, he's on the ground in Kabul. Nic, thank you! My next guest writes, and I quote, if the Taliban persist,
its defined attitude and disregard of international expectations, even its closest allies would be forced to distance themselves from it, leaving
Afghanistan alone on the international arena. And the price of this isolation, as always, will be paid by the common Afghan.
Obaidullah Baheer is a Lecturer of Transitional Justice at American University of Afghanistan, and joins me now via Skype from Kabul. And I
want to talk about your teaching in a moment. When you say, closest allies, who are you referring to and just expand on how you see international
legitimacy for the Taliban actually manifesting itself going forward?
OBAIDULLAH BAHEER, LECTURER, AMERICAN UNIVERSITY OF AFGHANISTAN: Hi, Becky, thank you for having me. So the Taliban patrons are very well known within
the region. There are multiple countries that were supporting the Taliban movement financially and through save havens.
The issue right now appears to be serious in a way where a total victory was going to guarantee that the Taliban were going to claim more agencies
and be more defined even to their closest partners. And it seems that they are reaching out to much larger partners, such as Russia and China to
support their project as to what the international community's engagement with the Taliban looks moving forward.
It's a decision to make between a rock and a hard place. It's a very difficult situation of dilemma because the international community as much
as it would want to engage with the Taliban. There are actions that the Taliban are showing their policies that they're rolling out that are in
complete defiance of international norms and standards.
BAHEER: So that would push the international community to put a blanket sanction on the Taliban and refuse to recognize them. Again, that itself is
problematic. It is easy for your moral satisfaction to think that you have done something about the Taliban. But the tougher - path is to engage with
the Taliban in whatever limited capacity is possible for the common humanity that we share amongst us in the world.
ANDERSON: You have a unique perspective. Your grandfather is a former Mujahideen fighter. We've got some pictures of you with him as a child. He
is now among the senior political figures in the country attempting to shape this post U.S. government. What's his role? And is it clears to you
through any conversations that you've had with him how this new government will rule?
BAHEER: Again, there's inconsistency between what was said and what was done. Again, the Taliban never officially negotiated any power sharing with
political stakeholders within Afghanistan, including Mr. Hekmatyar.
Mr. Hekmatyar, along with Karazi ex-President and Dr. Abdullah Abdullah had created this committee for cohesion and coordination. And the idea was to
grant the Taliban some sort of veneer of international legitimacy and democratic transition of power.
Since there was a political vacuum in Afghanistan, they wanted to negotiate with the Taliban and before the Taliban could take over Kabul militarily,
that some sort of agreement between the political elite and the Taliban would have taken place.
However, due to the security vacuum, the Taliban deem it necessary to march into Kabul, which nullified the whole concept of the Coordination
Committee. However, the Taliban despite having repeatedly reiterated even to the media that they would form an inclusive government seemed to have
preferred to mend the possible fractures within their own movement, and see the ministries in the cabinet as spoils of war that were to be distributed
amongst commanders, based on their distribution - their contribution to the war.
ANDERSON: You've alluded in some of your writing to certain strife within the Taliban group, and Robertson, reporting today that it has been denied.
The Baradar, for example, is either injured or killed. I mean, those report that denial becoming - coming because of significant reports, doing the
rounds on social media. Just explain what you - what you meant, and what you understand to be the discord within the group.
BAHEER: You have to understand the original structure of the Taliban to understand the problem that they faced a while forming governance. So the
Taliban are a fluid insurgency, they were a loosely affiliated group of splinter cells that were working towards a common goal. That meant that
different territories were held by different groups within the movement.
Even Kabul is under one specific groups' control right now, which meant that once they got to government, which was a surprise, even to them, and
the lack of homework done beforehand, because they, you know, how sometimes you are passive towards your issues and wait for it to face you, in order
for you to address it.
So the Taliban as well, when they sat down, all these different groups, obviously had expectations of being rewarded for the efforts that they put
into the fighting. And the difficult decision was how you turn a group that is so loosely affiliated or linked to each other to one cohesive entity
that can run governance or have consistent policies.
And that's why you're seeing extra judicial killings and justice taking place in different provinces, because those are different groups, enacting
their own forms of justice.
ANDERSON: Tough, tough to Saturday's up, we're doing our best, but there are certainly lots of reports of retribution and retaliation for those who
have fought against the Taliban in the past. Look, you are a Lecturer of the American University of Afghanistan.
There have been some changes to teaching practices and to curricula. Can you just explain what changes and what's changed on a daily basis? And
where does a Taliban government leave your profession? The teachers, the students, what's your sense at this point?
BAHEER: Look, I'll take a step back and there was a discussion that we were having amongst ourselves in academics had gotten together and we were
trying to figure out as to what to do moving forward?
BAHEER: And one of the suggestions was that we engage with a higher education ministry and have a discussion with regards to how their new
policies are problematic and are limiting access to education. The problem is such an assumption hinges on the idea that the Taliban are willing to
have a dialogue with regards to their policies and that their policies aren't top down. And these are ideas that have been accepted across the
And they're addressing the lowest common denominator, that's the most radical Taliban fighter and his vision of the world. That being said, that
means that a lot of people A, are disheartened, we've seen a lot of actions from the Taliban's side that they later said that they would address and
the culprits would be arrested. But the message already goes out.
Example, the beating of the journalists, even if they say that it was a mistake, and those who are responsible, will be brought to justice, the
message that fear has been sent out has been delivered. With regards to education we've started online classes already with one of the private
institute's that I'm with, and we are barely getting 30 percent of our attendances.
And the students, especially the female population are extremely disheartened because they don't understand A, the utility of moving forward
with the education B, most of these women were employed by the government something that they do not see happening, meaning they wouldn't be able to
afford their education.
So the spirits are generally very low. And we're trying to maneuver around whatever policies the Taliban throw at us, meaning we're doing online
classes now to avoid segregation thing as well.
ANDERSON: How comfortable are you in staying? Will you stay? I mean, so many of your colleagues and friends will have left the country I mean in
the past, you've clearly enjoyed some sort of privilege, given your background. I mean, does that stand you in insecure stead going forward? Or
will you say, leave?
BAHEER: I mean, we all hoped, those of us who stayed back that the Taliban would have it in them to understand their own limitations know that they
cannot run government unless they consulted with those of - those within the country who had some sort of experience.
But looking at how things are moving forward, looking at how governance is being viewed, and their approach and stance on civil liberties, it makes
things very difficult. It means that probably the only thing left for us to do is to encourage the youth to have some sort of discourse, and at least
mentally be able to understand that it's OK to live in a society and not be pro-Taliban or anti-Taliban.
But be an Afghan citizen who truly wants Afghanistan to do better, who wants to move towards reconciliation. And obviously, the fear is there
because even if the leadership doesn't want to take action, there will be a fighter out there who is armed, who has a sense of entitlement, who thinks
that he is better than those who were in Kabul and serving a godless regime to exercise their form of justice?
And you're seeing all the extra judicial corporal punishments happening on the roads of the cities. And it's just once you've - are face to face, not
only that physical pain, but that social shaming, as well. Is there much left to stand for or stand by?
ANDERSON: It doesn't sound as if you are particularly optimistic about staying in the country. I mean, stay or go? Will you leave?
BAHEER: I mean, as much as I love this country, as much as even the thought of leaving it haunts me. If my voice can achieve something, that voice is
better existing than the counterfactual of it being subdued. So if I can only do that, from outside of Afghanistan, maybe I will.
But for now, all cards are on the table. And we're holding on to that bleakest hope in hoping that it doesn't take too long for the Taliban, to
understand that they are headed straight into a failed state, and that there is much that has to be done and addressed in order to avoid such a
future, including 97 percent of our population facing poverty.
So we are here, we never served the previous government. We are not going to serve the Taliban. We served our country we served our people and we
will do that till our last breath.
ANDERSON: With that, we're going to leave it there. We wish you the best. Thank you, sir.
BAHEER: Thank you.
ANDERSON: Well, the Taliban take over Afghanistan is changing the culture of the country particularly for women and what they were? But some say
that's just not right. Their story is just ahead. Plus - South Korea and Japan hold talks about North Korea a bit more for you from the region of
North Korea say it fired new missiles.
ANDERSON: North Korea says it successfully launched a new long range missile this weekend that's capable of reaching Japan. North Korean media
released these two images purportedly showing the launches Pyongyang says the missiles have been in development for the past two years. Japan is
vowing to beef up its defense capabilities.
Right now officials from the U.S., South Korea and China and I'm sorry and Japan are in Tokyo discussing the regional threat from North Korea. These
new launches come after North Korea had conducted two other cruise missile tests earlier this year. Paula Hancocks has been covering these launches
for years now and she is reporting for you tonight from Seoul in South Korea.
PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Technically, North Korea did not break any rules with this test firing of long range cruise missiles that it said
it carried out over the weekend. It's the ballistic missile technology that is banned by the United Nations Security Council Resolutions.
So they didn't break any rules. But any kind of test firing of missiles by North Korea is going to rattle the region and it did once again. Japan said
that it is very concerned by what it saw statement media claiming that these cruise missiles that it testified over the weekend traveled about
1500 kilometers, which mean that they could reach Japan itself.
They're also the most significant test firing of missiles that we have seen from North Korea since the U.S. President Joe Biden took power. Now
interestingly, the North Korean Leader Kim Jong-Un himself doesn't appear to have been present at least state run media doesn't mention him and
clearly if he was there, they would have done.
And this shows that it was a test firing that was obviously important for North Korea to push forward their weapons and military capability but not
one that he felt that he needed to be front and center at. Also it was on page two of the - that the newspaper rather than splashed over the front
Now we had heard from his sister Kim Yo-Jong just last month, slamming the U.S. and South Korea for holding joint military drills which Pyongyang had
asked to be cancelled every year. These military drills infuriate Pyongyang and she had said that they would face a more serious security threat.
HANCOCKS: So to be honest, experts had been expecting some kind of test fire, some kind of launch to show their disapproval. We also know that in
previous military parades back in January and also October of last year, they had been unveiling some new weapon systems and experts had
consistently said that at some point, North Korea will want to test those. Paula Hancocks, CNN, Seoul.
ANDERSON: Well, the world is also watching Iran. And the UN's nuclear watchdog says it wants some answers, have a listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RAFAEL MARIANO GROSSI, DIRECTOR GENERAL, INTERNATIONAL ATOMIC ENERGY AGENCY: There is indication; scientifically proven that there has been
material in places that were not declared. What do we do about that? It's a very simple question. And this is the question I want to repeat through the
new government and I hope I will be getting some answers.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Well, that declaration came a short time ago in Vienna, following the opening of the International Atomic Energy Agency's Board of Governors
Meeting, and it comes just one day after Tehran did agree to allow the global nuclear watchdog to serve as cameras used to monitor Iranian nuclear
sites, while hovering over all of this, of course, the stalled Iran nuclear deal which the U.S. abandoned in 2018.
In other news, California voters head to the polls on Tuesday in what is a very rare recall election that could remove their Governor from office.
Voters will be asked two questions one, do they support the recall of Governor Gavin Newsom? And two who do they pick to replace him? Should he
With more than 50 percent vote yes and support the recall. He is out. If that happens, one of 46 people running to replace Newsom will become
Governor, a majority is not necessary. The winner just needs to have more votes than any other candidates. Could be a Republican, and this is a
heavily Democrat state?
Recent polls suggest the majority of Californians want Newsom to stay in office, but if he doesn't, the consequences will be felt far beyond the
Golden State. Michael Holmes explains.
(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)
MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): The first question on the ballot is symbol should California Governor Gavin Newsom be removed from
office? In Tuesday's special election recall California voters choose yes or no.
If more than 50 percent mark yes, the leader of America's most popular state would be unseated making him one of only three governors in U.S.
history to lead their post in this way. Now Governor Newsom is trying to convince voters he should keep his job.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are we going to vote no on this recall?
HOLMES (voice over): The stock threat to the Democratic Governor that began as a challenge from state Republicans. In June of last year, Newsom's
opponents received approval for a petition to unseat him then amid a raging Coronavirus pandemic Governor Newsom was seen in November at the dinner
party of a prominent lobbyist wearing no mask.
While publicly he was telling residents to mask up and stay indoors. Newsom apologized but backlash after that incident may have been pivotal in the
petition success. Republicans collected more than 1.7 million signatures, enough to trigger a recall election in California.
Soon the campaigning began. Now Newsom's chief opponent is this man. Larry Elder is a 69-year-old conservative talk show host turned political
candidate. He's vowing to rollback California's Coronavirus restrictions, and repeal masks and vaccine mandates.
LARRY ELDER, RADIO HOST: I'm not sure the scientists settled on that at all, and young people are not likely to contract the Coronavirus. If I had
known there'd be so many people I would have prepared something to say.
HOLMES (voice over): Elders' candidacy has been seen as somewhat controversial in California in part for his views on race and women. He's
also been accused of domestic violence an allegation he denies.
ELDER: I've always felt that minorities and women complain too much about racism and sexism.
HOLMES (voice over): Still Elder is among more than 40 of Newsom's challenges all hoping to become California's next Governor. But Newsom has
strong support from some of his party's most prominent members, including the U.S. President and Vice President.
KAMALA HARRIS, U.S. VICE PRESIDENT: They think if they can win in California, they can do this anywhere.
HOLMES (voice over): Supporters are framing the special election as a challenge to liberal values across the country, Democrats fear that should
Newsom lose the impact could be far reaching, potentially encouraging Republican led recalls in other states and even jeopardizing the party's
control of the U.S. Senate.
HOLMES (voice over): As Tuesday nears Democrats and Republicans in the state and across the country, we'll have to wait and see how many say yes.
And how many say no in California is recall election. Michael Holmes, CNN.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
ANDERSON: Well, Afghan women around the world say their traditional Afghan attire is not what you think it is a bit later. We look at the culture
shock in Afghanistan right now.
ANDERSON: Well, it is often one of the first signs of a country heading in a more conservative direction regulating what women should or should not
wear. Since the Taliban took over Afghanistan that is exactly what is happening.
Take a look at these scenes from Kabul on Saturday, a group of women carrying signs in support of the Taliban dressed in all black garments
covering their bodies from head to toe. Women attending the rally believe they represent the true Afghan woman and they have a warning for those who
don't share that view.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Those women who are western cline and are dictated by the West cannot represent the Muslim and PS women of Afghanistan.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Well, dozens of Afghan women have responded to that. Taking to social media to show the world their version of traditional and colorful
Afghan dress Dr. Bahar Jalali is the Afghan woman who started the trend on Twitter she posted a picture of herself in traditional attire.
She says that she posted her picture to inform, educate and dispel the misinformation that is being propagated by the Taliban. Another Afghan
woman, Fereshta Abbasi posted a picture in dress worn by the women from the Hazara ethnic group.
She writes, this is my traditional dress my mum and grandmas have always been wearing these colorful dresses. With all due respect it's every human
beings choice to wear whatever they feel comfortable with, a full black hijab doesn't represent all Afghan women.
Now keep in mind, women who wear a burqa are not necessarily pro-Taliban, but that could be the point some women, women should have the choice to
wear what they want. Peymana Assad is one of those women who shared her national dress.
She's a counselor in the London Borough of Harrow and is first person of Afghan origin, elected to public office in the UK. It's great to have you
with us and congratulations on that role. Before we get into this social movement, just tell us a little bit about yourself.
I know you were born in Afghanistan. You left when you were very little. Tell us your story, your family story.
PEYMANA ASSAD, COUNCILOR, HARROW COUNCIL: Well, my parents were freedom fighters against the Soviet invasion in Afghanistan. And they decided to
put their weapons down when the Soviet Union left. But the situation got incredibly worse.
One of the Mujahideen started fighting against each other for power, and it just became not safe. And the future just didn't look very good for their
Gulf. And so my mother decided to leave and seek political refuge in the United Kingdom.
ANDERSON: What do you make of what you are seeing the images coming out of not just Kabul, but elsewhere in Afghanistan?
ASSAD: Well, I think the first thing is that this is an attack on Afghan identity and Afghan culture. This is quite clear, based on that a PR stunt
that the Taliban put on yesterday at Kabul University.
It's quite clear that the Taliban wanting to take Afghan women, Afghanistan towards the more stricter the more extreme version of Islam, which is the
Wahhabi, the Saudi version of Islam, that's quite alien, to Afghan culture and to the Afghan people.
Over the last 20 years, Afghan women have been able to find their voice once again, on the world stage, but also inside Afghanistan, you know,
majority Muslim, more than 50 percent of the women in Parliament, were women.
So you know I believe that this is an attack on Afghan identity and Afghan culture. And it's trying to take Afghanistan back into a more extreme
version of Islam.
ANDERSON: Just explain to our viewers, if you will, why you believe that, we would see these images of women supporting the Taliban review called
that propaganda. You know, we have every right to call those images that and but why do you believe those women would be out in support of the
ASSAD: Well, that conflicting information at the moment, what we're seeing is some people have been saying that some of the students that Kabul
University have been forced to wear these garments, this is not even the Niqab.
You know, we have to be, we have to understand that this is a completely different version of Islam, you know, I compared it to the demeanors, from
the Harry Potter World.
And to me, it's that simple, because it's taking out the hope and the dreams of Afghan women. I think this is a tactic. The reason why I call it
propaganda is because I believe that this is the tactic to distract us, the international media, the international community from what's really
happening in Afghanistan.
And I'm glad that I have this opportunity to say that, although the Taliban have said that women can go to school or women can go to university, that's
not the reality on the ground. My cousins, for example, have not been able to return to university and that's in the capital city in Kabul, got the
young girls aren't allowed to go to school above the grade fix in school.
That's the reality of what's facing a lot of Afghan girls and Afghan women have not been allowed to go back into the workplace, unless they're in the
health sector, for example.
So it's distracting us from what is really happening on the ground. The humanitarian crisis and also the assassination and the targeted killings
that are taking place across the country, as well as what is happening in Panjshir province, which the Taliban have assaulted again and again over
the last few weeks. And we're hearing of war crimes in that province.
ANDERSON: It's more terrifying, the more firsthand experience you can glean from, as you rightly point out, not just Kabul, but elsewhere in
Afghanistan. Let's talk about what people wear, what women wear, what Afghan women wear. How important is the traditional Afghanistan dress to
and what does it reflect about your identity as an Afghan woman?
ASSAD: So I think that the Afghan national dress, there are so many different versions, because we're such a diverse people. All sorts of
different women wear different types of clothing.
But I think the thing for me is that in every bead and every design and every traditional dress, there is history behind it, there is a reason why
those things have been designed the way they have. The dress that I posted comes from the Cauchy the nomads in Afghanistan, for example.
And they wear their dress in the villages across Afghanistan, you know, when I've taken a road trip between Kabul to Kandahar and Kabul to Mazar-i-
Sharif. I've seen Afghan women wear these dresses. And yes, they have a scarf over their head, but it's not the black outfits that the Taliban have
shown us or shown that sort of an image to the world.
It's really important for Afghan Amen because this is conservative. This is traditional, it is modest, you know how much more modest can we get with
our traditional clothing, it's comfortable.
ASSAD: It's got long sleeves; it's got a big round dress. It's really important. I mean, obviously, for us in the diaspora, we wear it to our
weddings and our, you know, other events, I tend to wear it sometimes, to council events to just to show people that this is Afghan culture.
And this is our traditional dress, to just keep our identity and our culture alive, because it's very, very important that we do that,
especially when it's under attack.
ANDERSON: So this is a sort of virtual protest, isn't it? And it's really gaining some momentum. I noticed that a lot over social media over the
weekend. Clearly, as you pointed out, many people who are protesting are actually in the diaspora.
They're not living in Afghanistan, at present. Do you think that we'll do briefly; do you think that the Taliban will be bothered by this at all?
ASSAD: I don't think the Taliban are bothered, but I think the Afghan women are bothered. I think what we have to understand is that right now; it's
very, very unsafe and very difficult for Afghan women inside Afghanistan to speak up about their issues, because they are under attack. That's just the
You know, recently, there was a video that came out of an Afghan activist in Kandahar and her home was searched by the Taliban and her brother was
taken away. So it's a real risk for Afghan women inside the country.
And I think right now, the Afghans in the diaspora, especially the women, you know, we've come together, we have our groups on WhatsApp, we have our
groups on Twitter. And we've been saying that we need to use our voice to make sure that the Afghan women's voices inside the country don't get lost.
And so we want to project that. And you know this is a very emotional time for all of us. You know, nobody thought that the Taliban were going to come
back. Nobody thought that the Taliban were going to get rid of, you know, reversed women's rights overnight, practically.
And so yes, this is a mini virtual protest. But it's also you know, taking us down and taking back the narrative that these dark veils don't represent
Afghanistan and they definitely don't represent Afghan women.
ANDERSON: Understood. Thank you for joining us. Good to have you on just ahead on "Connect the World". India reeling from another deadly sexual
assault, we're going to get you live to New Delhi to find out what is being done about the country's rape crisis that is after this.
ANDERSON: A brutal, fatal rape in India has shaken the nation once again. There is the words of a women's rights activist who says the assault in
Mumbai was "incredibly similar" to a notorious rape and murder in 2012 that prompted nationwide calls for change. Officials say the 34 year old victim
died of her injuries after the attack.
ANDERSON: She was allegedly assaulted and raped early on Friday. Of years, millions of women across India have been pushing for tougher sexual assault
laws in the country CNN's Vedika Sud joining us now from the Indian Capital of New Delhi, Vedika?
VEDIKA SUD, CNN REPORTER: Becky, this is another horrific case that we are hearing about it comes from India's financial capital Mumbai. What we know
is that over the weekend the victim died because of the grievous injuries she suffered. It was a brutal rape.
I don't really want to get into the details of what really happened because that's extremely disturbing for anyone who reads about it or hears about
But what we know from a press conference that took place over the weekend by the top cop of Mumbai is that the woman was found unconscious after a
guard in the area actually alerted the Police about the incident.
The suspect is in Police custody and he will remain in Police custody for a while he's being booked for both murder as well as rape, formal charges are
yet to be pressed. And if found guilty, Becky he could face a death penalty.
You refer to the 2012 gang rape that took place in India trip the conscience of many people across the country, it's surprise and shocked so
many across the world. And because of those protests that took place unprecedented back then in 2012, a lot of laws were amended.
Laws were meant to foster cases of rape in India recently you also had read being redefined in India to include in an oral penetration as well. So
there's a lot that's been happening but this case in a city like Mumbai has shocked so many people.
Activists have come out to demand justice in this case, the chief minister of the state of Maharashtra, which Mumbai is the capital city has called
this a heinous crime is called a dreadful incident.
Hannah's promised to fast track this case. There is a special team that has been formed to make sure that this case, the interrogations and the
findings come forward within a month. But Becky, here's what I want to leave our viewers with.
In India according to the national data released by the government here in India, a rape is reported every 17 minutes in the country, Becky.
ANDERSON: A sobering and very depressing thought. Thank you. When "Connect the World" comes back, a pair of unlikely champion shocked the tennis world
this weekend, the history making stories are after this.
ANDERSON: Well, the most dramatic major tennis tournaments in history handed on Sunday with another surprising result. Daniil Medvedev defeated
heavily favored Novak Djokovic in the men's U.S. Open final. Djokovic, as you may know has won the Australian Open Wimbledon and the French Open
early this year and he was going for what's known as the first calendar Grand Slam since 1969.
A win would have given him 21 major titles the most ever instead, well, Medvedev won his first. That match came one day after what was a thrilling
women's U.S. open finale in which unseeded British teenager Emma Raducanu unseeded Canadian teenager, Leylah Fernandez.
ANDERSON: Raducanu is the first qualifier in history to win a Grand Slam title. Well, she has become an international sensation over the past couple
of weeks. She was born in Canada, a Romanian father, a Chinese Mum, millions of Chinese fans flocking to social media to talk about her victory
over the weekend. After the win, she spoke with CNN's Carolyn Manno.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CAROLYN MANNO, CNN REPORTER (VOICE OVER): I heard you a moment ago say that it's your dream to win a Grand Slam, how real has this moment become for
EMMA RADUCANU, U.S. OPEN WOMEN'S CHAMPION: It still hasn't sunk in to be honest. Because after the match, I haven't really had a moment to just stop
and embrace everything that's just happened. But yes, I can't wait to just really sink in with my team tonight and enjoy and celebrate.
And then when I get back home to see everyone at home, it's been seven weeks away now. So to go home, I'm just really excited to see my family and
MANNO (voice over): You continue to get better as this tournament went on. And you mentioned that there are a lot of areas that you want to work on.
Still, when people consider this fortnight that you played 20 sets and one every single one of them. I mean, what is it about the journey that allowed
you to execute so flawlessly? What was your approach mentally?
RADUCANU: Yes, I think that, you know, you can look at the score and be like straight stats every match. But I think in every single one of those
matches, there were maybe a one or two points difference that between winning and losing this.
And I probably could have lost a lot of those sets that I managed to win and even some of the score lines; they did not reflect how the matches were
going and the dynamic because a lot we're going to juice games and that in tennis, the margins are so fine.
And you know one point can make the difference between a set. So I think that just my focus on the point ahead of me and what I was trying to
execute. Point for point, game for game not getting ahead of myself at all is just allowed me to be here, 10 matches later with the title.
MANNO (voice over): I know you haven't had a lot of time to process this. But this is a season of change in tennis on the women's side. And both you
and Leylah have really been tagged as the future here.
But what you guys were able to do I mean, how much do you do you feel that, that you and her could develop a rivalry that would be significant in the
sport and take up the mantle of the sport?
RADUCANU: Yes, I hope so. I hope we will play each other and you will find more and more matches on the tour and on these stages on such occasions
like this on Arthur Ashe, I mean it's so enjoyable and for the Grand Slam final here to have two of us that are young and coming through.
I mean, it's definitely, it just shows how strong the future of tennis is. And hopefully we'll be able to follow in the footsteps of some of the
legends that are played - playing right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Let's talk more about what has been a remarkable weekend of tennis. Joining me now is Ravi Ubha, who covers tennis for a number of
outlets and is a CNN tennis contributor. Ravi, it's good to have you with us.
She is not yet played a full year on tour yet there she is taking the title banking two and a half million dollars. In doing so she said afterwards she
doesn't feel any pressure and Ravi, she said that with conviction. How important is that mental strength she seems to have?
RAVI UBHA, CNN TENNIS CONTRIBUTOR: It's a very, very important, Becky. Because you have to be able to hit the ball well, compete well; handle the
intangibles well on tennis court tactics, et cetera. But you also have to be mentally tough.
And you know what, Becky by going through the qualifying, playing 10 matches and not dropping a set and holding your composure on the biggest
stage in tennis, Arthur Ashe Stadium capacity of more than 23,000.
And don't forget Becky just a few months about Wimbledon, when she really made her breakthrough. In the fourth round, she couldn't handle it he was
getting a little bit too much for her to stop the best. So to make that transformation is kind of remarkable.
The only thing I will say to kind of counter that a little bit Becky is you know, she's 18, so when you're at that age, you don't have a lot of the
pressure per se you don't have a lot of the expectations she kind of came out of nowhere.
So now it's a question of with everything on her now the spotlights et cetera. Will she be able to maintain that form?
ANDERSON: Yes, and that's what's important and whether she is able to maintain that form will basically come down as much to how she's managed,
how she's looked after.
You know what the infrastructure will be how she is protected, as well as you know, the strength, the mental strength and the physical strength she
has on the court, isn't it?
You know, there are a litany of young players who came and went and many of them names that we now don't remember, some of the names we do. How
important is that infrastructure around her going forward, but she is protected.
UBHA: Becky's it's hugely, hugely important. Now, the nice thing is that she's had a chance to spend a little bit of time with Andy Murray, who is
an extremely grounded individual apart from being a plastic tennis player. That is great.
She changed her management team not so long ago in terms of her agent. Now she's working alongside one of the most well-known agents in tennis, Max
Eisenbud. Now he is the agent of Maria Sharapova, also of Li Na.
Now both those athletes commercially humongous, Li Na were the first Asian player in singles to win a Grand Slam title. At one point her earnings were
upwards of around $20 million a year. Maria much higher than that, if that's the area they want to pursue Becky.
It's enormous because Emma comes from a massive market in the UK, but also her mom is Chinese. She speaks Mandarin; she sent a message to a Chinese
fan in Mandarin -- open.
And Becky, her followings on Twitter around a week ago was 150,000. Now it's around half a million norms potential.
ANDERSON: Well. Absolutely. Very briefly, I don't want to forget Leylah Fernandez also played in that match. She has a super future ahead, doesn't
she and Medvedev in the men's you got to feel sorry for Djokovic. But you know, let's not forget, forget that there was a big winner in the men's
briefly on both of them.
UBHA: Yes, I mean, Becky, Novak Djokovic, I kind of feel bad from the sense because getting this close to achieving something that hadn't been done
since 1969 in the men's side, I think many were rooting for him to do it. I felt he deserved to do it.
But even though he lost you got the most proud sport ever in his life. That's what reduced him to tears. And he struggled on that side a little
bit. Medvedev is a worthy winner. He's been knocking on the door for a while. This was his third Grand Slam final.
And I don't personally believe he'll stop there. He's a terrific character as well. He's feisty. He's got personality and a great talker. So I think
he's very good for the game.
ANDERSON: Nice to have you. That's it from us. Good night.