The speed at which the Taliban have retaken Afghanistan has taken everyone by surprise. How could it happen? What went wrong with ‘the good war’? And what comes next?
The West invaded Afghanistan in 2001 with promises of democracy, freedom and women’s rights. It was a disaster. Hundreds of thousands of people were killed. Corruption and abuses were endemic. As a young and idealistic war correspondent, Graeme Smith followed the troops into battle in Afghanistan. Now he returns to a place that gave him nightmares to see if there is hope for peace. Smith revisits old friends and acquaintances and sees the deep divisions in the country.
Shaharzad Akbar, the country’s top human rights investigator, calls out abuses by both the Taliban and the government. Outspoken women at Kabul University are determined to hold onto their hard-won rights and liberties in the face of any return of the Taliban. By contrast, in Kandahar, burqa-clad women explain why they do not fear the Taliban.
But what do the Taliban say about how they will govern Afghanistan? Smith makes a remarkable journey to visit them at their unofficial headquarters in Doha, Qatar. The movement that once banned television and cameras now has a young generation of modern leaders who post videos on the Taliban’s official website and use social media to spread their message.
A few weeks ago, when the Taliban were in the middle of planning their final offensive, we were the last journalist to meet them. We gained access to the towns and villages they administered. It’s likely that what we witnessed and filmed is just a prelude to what will come to be imposed on all the country.More info
Now that the Taliban have retaken Afghanistan, what will their administration be like? In this exclusive film, including an unprecedented interview with Muhammad Nabi Omari, one of the notorious 'Taliban Five', we see how the destinies of five men summed up 20 years of war in Afghanistan. And how these same five men will probably shape the next Taliban government.More info
Fifteen years ago, when war broke out Merwais left his home in the Kunar Province for a new life in Europe. He returns to the notorious Valley of Death, the dangerous tribal area bordering Pakistan, to find out what happened after the American invasion.More info