Female TV anchor who interviewed first Taliban spokesman has left Afghanistan

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Female TV anchor who interviewed first Taliban spokesman has left Afghanistan

Afghan TV anchor, Beheshta Arghand, who made history by interviewing a Taliban spokesman on air has left the country.

CNN reported that Arghand, a female anchor at TOLO, an Afghan news network, interviewed a senior Taliban representative on the air. The interview garnered headlines around the world.

Two days later, Arghand did it again, interviewing Malala Yousafzai, the activist who survived a Taliban assassination attempt, in what TOLO described as the first time Yousafzai had ever been interviewed on Afghan TV.

Arghand was blazing a trail, but her work has been put on hold. She decided to leave Afghanistan, citing the dangers that so many journalists and ordinary Afghans are facing, CNN reported.

Arghand corresponded with CNN and recounted the experience of the past two weeks.

Ultimately, she said, “I left the country because, like millions of people, I fear the Taliban.”

Saad Mohseni, the owner of TOLO, said Arghand’s case is emblematic of the situation in Afghanistan.

“Almost all our well known reporters and journalists have left,” Mohseni said. “We have been working like crazy to replace them with new people.”

“We have the twin challenge of getting people out [because they feel unsafe] and keeping the operation going,” he added.

Her August 17 interview with the Taliban was “the first time in Afghanistan’s history that a Taliban representative appeared live in a TV studio sitting across from a female presenter,” Mohseni said in a column for the Washington Post asserting that the Taliban was trying to “present a moderate face to the world.”

Arghand said the interview was difficult, “but I did it for Afghan women.”

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