A year on: ‘Free Afghanistan’ yet again trending on social media

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KABUL: Thousands of Afghans within and abroad have launched a Twitter campaign with the hashtag ‘#Free Afghanistan’ on the first anniversary of the Taliban seizing control of Afghanistan last August.


On August 15th last year, the Islamist insurgents seized the capital Kabul city amid little resistance. The US-backed Afghan government collapsed, and the Afghan national army surrendered in their thousands as the Taliban rapidly took control.


While the Taliban de facto administration and its followers celebrate August 15th as a day of independence, most Afghans dub it a ‘black day’.


The hashtag ‘Free Afghanistan’ has become a sensation on Twitter, with over 11k tweets so far. The initial use of the hashtag was late last year when Afghans regarded Pakistan as responsible for facilitating the Taliban’s takeover and demise of democracy in Afghanistan.


Some of the tweets from influential figures include:


“Every girl on planet earth has a right to equal human rights- stand with the women of Afghanistan and #FreeAfghanistan Pakistan is occupying Afghanistan thru their puppet taliban regime,” wrote a former Afghan parliamentarian, Mariam Solaimankhil.


Former NSC spokesman, Kabir Haqmal, tweeted, “We lost our country to a proxy & terrorist group a year ago, we want our #Afghanistan back. #FreeAfghanistan from #terrorists & Pakistani proxies.”


There are also support shown from non-Afghans for the campaign.


“My name is Bushra Gohar, I am from #Pakistan & I condemn the occupation of #Afghanistan by Pak proxies Taliban. Reject the criminal #DohaDeal with terrorists. #AfghansThrownToTheWolves I support Afghan women’s courageous struggle for fundamental freedoms. #FreeAfghanistan,” wrote Bushra Gohar, a former member of Pakistani parliament.


:My name is Jason, I care about Afghanistan and I am against the occupation of the country by the Taliban-Haqqani terrorists. #FreeAfghanistan,” wrote Jason Criss Howk, an American human rights activist.


This comes as, in the past, there have been similar social media drives staged with thousands of participants, calling out the Taliban for atrocities and Pakistan for providing a haven to terrorists.