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Afghan activist Pashtana Durrani, who fled to the US, is skeptical of Taliban’s claims

The Taliban claims they will allow women and children to go to school, but that reality has not been realized, says Afghan education activist Pashtana Durrani.

The last time that she spoke with Ian Bremmer on GZERO World, she was in hiding, moving location to location, in order to avoid the Taliban as they took over the country. Now safely in the US after fleeing Afghanistan in October, she is working as a senior fellow at Wellesley College and continuing her work on girls education in the country she fled. Her nonprofit, LEARN, has started emergency relief programs for women and children facing malnutrition and starvation.

“I'll believe them when they open schools for girls. I will believe them when they open working spaces for girls. I'll believe them when they actually walk the talk instead of them claiming whatever they do,” she said in a new interview on GZERO World.

The Taliban has only made “cosmetic changes” since the 1990s, says author Ahmed Rashid

The Taliban may have allowed “cosmetic changes” - like allowing younger fighters to take photos with iPhones – but their governing style hasn’t truly changed, renowned author Ahmed Rashid told Ian Bremmer on GZERO World. In fact, not much about the group has actually reformed since he wrote his groundbreaking book, Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil and Fundamentalism in Central Asia.

“We thought for a long time that the Taliban would be educating and training their younger generation to become bureaucrats and handlers of civil society, but we were wrong,” he said. In fact, the moderate faction of the Taliban have been losing out to the hardliners, which includes members of the Haqqani network, a US-designated terrorist organization.

António Guterres: Let's deal with reality by engaging the Taliban

Ahead of Monday's UN conference on aid to Afghanistan, UN Secretary-General António Guterres knows he can't turn Taliban-run Afghanistan into Sweden — but still hopes to ensure basic rights for all Afghans, including women and ethnic minorities, as well as prevent civil war and terrorism. For Guterres, it's time for "all the elements of the international community to come together and to engage with the Taliban positively." If we show them we can keep humanitarian aid flowing, Guterres says, perhaps we'll gain leverage and sell the Taliban on "the idea that they can become part of a normal world." Watch this clip from Ian Bremmer's exclusive interview with Guterres on GZERO World, which will air on US public television during the week of the 76th UN General Assembly.

Afghan girls should stay in school despite Taliban rule, activist says

If you're an Afghan girl, teacher and activist Pashtana Durrani says it's time to tell the Taliban you'll keep going to school because it's your right — and good for Afghanistan after 20 years of relying on the US. "We have to do something on our own, and for that it's very important to start by educating ourselves [...] by becoming a scientist, a doctor, a teacher, to have that human capacity to serve the country for the greater good." Just because a few men in Kabul have changed, she adds, that doesn't justify "that we have to change our way of life for them." Watch her interview with GZERO World's Ian Bremmer.

Watch the full interview: Afghan activist: Taliban won't make us change our way of life

Afghan activist: Taliban don’t have a plan to run Afghanistan

The Taliban have taken over Afghanistan militarily, but they have yet to show they can also govern — perhaps because they don't have a plan. "Military men can never do public policy. We all know this," says Pashtana Durrani, an Afghan teacher and women's rights activist who's in hiding and moving around the country because she wants to stay to resist Taliban rule. Watch her full interview with GZERO World's Ian Bremmer.

Watch the full interview: Afghan activist: Taliban won't make us change our way of life

Afghan activist: Taliban won’t make us change our way of life

While many Afghans are trying to flee the country, others have gone into hiding, moving around to escape the Taliban but doing their part to stand up to Afghanistan's new rulers. One of them is teacher and women's rights activist Pashtana Durrani. In a wide-ranging interview with GZERO World's Ian Bremmer, Durrani tackles several hot topics, like what's next for Afghan girls, whether the Taliban can actually govern, and how they'll behave after all Americans are out. "Just because a few men in Kabul, in the Presidential Palace, have changed, that doesn't justify the fact that we have to change our way of life for them." She also pushes back against the Biden administration's claim that the Afghan army didn't want to fight the Taliban, and shares her feelings about the US after 20 years of occupation and war.

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