PODCAST | ‘Like the TV was switched off mid-show’: life under the Taliban

Acclaimed journalist Christina Lamb talks from Kabul about the eerie atmosphere that has settled over Afghanistan

09 September 2021 - 20:23

Arguably the most storied foreign correspondent still working in newspapers, the UK Sunday Times’s chief foreign correspondent, Christina Lamb, talks to Peter Bruce in this exclusive interview from Kabul.

Lamb knows Afghanistan intimately, having covered its story for 33 years, from back when the Soviets occupied it. She describes how eerie the country she knows so well has suddenly become. There are no women on the streets and the Taliban are everywhere, long-haired and some even wearing makeup.

For her friends in Kabul it is another story. She knows a rapper who changes houses now all the time. One friend describes the arrival of the Taliban as being “like the television suddenly switching off in the middle of a show”.

The pair also talk about what Lamb is sure is an increase in the rape of women as a weapon of war used by militaries around the world. It is in fact a war crime, Lamb reminds us, but the people who negotiate the ends of wars are almost always men.

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