He was a news anchor. Now he sells food on street to survive in Taliban's Afghanistan

Edited By: Moohita Kaur Garg
Kabul, Afghanistan Updated: Jun 16, 2022, 07:49 PM(IST)

Posting Musa's pictures from his 'good old days' when he worked as a news anchor and recent ones where he can be seen selling food on Afghanistan streets, Haqmal wrote 'Journalists life in #Afghanistan under the #Taliban'. (Image courtesy: Kabir Haqmal) Photograph:( Twitter )

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While Haqmal's tweet may have acted as a saviour for Musa, this begs the question: What about the rest?

Since the Taliban took over Afghanistan almost a year ago, the nation has witnessed a slew of tough times. There have been countless news stories about the abysmal state of women's rights and for good reason. However, one facet of the nation's demise has largely gone unnoticed: the fall of the watchdogs of society.

Recently, a tweet shed some light on the condition of journalists in Taliban's Afghanistan. Kabir Haqmal who once worked with the Hamid Karzai government tweeted out pictures of a street food vendor, who he identified as a former news anchor, reporter Musa Mohammadi. He said that after the Taliban's rise to power Musa has been forced into poverty. 

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Posting Musa's pictures from his 'good old days' when he worked as a news anchor and recent ones where he can be seen selling food on Afghanistan streets, Haqmal wrote "Journalists life in #Afghanistan under the #Taliban. Musa Mohammadi worked for years as an anchor & reporter in different TV channels, and now has no income to feed his family. & sells street food to earn some money. #Afghans suffer unprecedented poverty after the fall of the republic."

The tweet has garnered hundreds of likes and retweets since it was shared. It even reached Ahmadullah Wasiq, the Director-General of National Radio and Television and the acting director for intelligence and deputy head of the cultural commission of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.

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Wasiq responded by tweeting in Urdu that Musa will be given employment "within the framework of National Radio and Television". 

His tweet can be roughly translated as "Unemployment of Musa Mohammadi, a spokesman for a private television station, rises on social media. As a matter of fact, as the director of the National Radio and Television, I assure him that we will appoint him within the framework of the National Radio and Television. We need all Afghan professionals."

While Haqmal's tweet may have acted as a saviour for Musa, this begs the question: What about the rest?

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There are undoubtedly more journalists and professionals from other fields paying the price for this change in administration. Who will help them?

According to a World Bank report, in Afghanistan incomes have plummeted to the point where 37 per cent of Afghan households do not have enough money to fulfil their basic needs, while 33 per cent can afford food but not much else.

Reuters reported that as World Bank estimates if present trends persist, Afghanistan's real GDP per capita would fall by roughly 34 per cent between the end of 2020 and the end of 2022, reversing all progress made since 2007.

(With inputs from agencies)

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