“My father and family suffered under Taliban rule 20 years ago but it was different. Now they (Taliban) are stronger, and wouldn’t have allowed us to live there,” says Anarkali Kaur Honaryar, Afghan Member of Parliament who was among 168 people airlifted from Kabul to the Hindon airbase in Ghaziabad on Sunday morning.
One of the first non-Muslim women to be elected to the country’s Upper House, Honaryar has been an MP for almost a decade.
“My grandfather and father spent their entire lives in Afghanistan. My father started work as an engineer and was then part of the Election Commission. My siblings and I worked for the government,” Honaryar told The Indian Express on Monday.
Referring to the Taliban capture of capital Kabul, she said, “When it all started, I planned not to leave my country. But soon everything changed. My mother is still scared. She thinks the Taliban are outside our room and doesn’t want me to leave. We have lost everything…”
Days before leaving Kabul, Honaryar and her family felt they could stay in Afghanistan and wait for the international community to save them. However, on August 15, when Afghanistan president Ashraf Ghani fled the country, the family lost all hope.
“I was in office and saw the President a day before. I thought we were going to work and protest for peace. Soon, everyone in office was receiving calls about Taliban seizing Kabul. We had to leave. I was in my car when I noticed people running on the streets,” she said.
Honaryar tried driving towards home but the sound of gunshots grew louder. Eventually, everyone had to leave their vehicles in the middle of the road and run home.