If it were not for the blue tick of verification, you may not want to believe that a nation’s official public relations arm puts out an advertisement or appeal on a global site promising not to kill tourists if they visit their country.
Afghanistan proves you wrong.
“Visit the magnificent nation of #Afghanistan, the real land of the free and the home of the brave, unlike the Americans,” reads the Social Media handle of Taliban Public Relations Department, Commentary.
It goes on further to highlight how Afghanistan is a great country to visit, whether you are a traveller or a honeymooner.
“A rugged country inhabited by muscular men and traditional women. You will be 100% safe since the war is over and we no longer capturing tourists for ransom.”
That set netizens trolling the post and asking questions upfront.
To a handle that asked the Afghanistani government to spell out exactly what they promised to not do, it said, “Mr. Sabellico, we are no longer causing trouble for tourists. They are welcome to explore our rugged nation with confidence,” in a way admitting that tourists had marked the Taliban stronghold nation as a no-go area due to threat to life and property.
“Absolutely Mr Boob. We have tremendous hiking trails for honeymoon couples to trek through our rugged mountains. The same trekking path that was used by our masculine fighters during the war,” it said to another.
To another who expressed “I would like to speak to the CEO of the Taliban pls” it replied, “That would be our Supreme leader. Please visit our nation and we will be happy to arrange a visit. He loves meeting foreigners and gauging their opinions about our government.”
Asked if there is “Any govt website to book tickets?” the Afghanistani PR replied: “We are working on making one. As soon as it’s ready, we will announce it here”
To another who tagged Plaform X (formerly Twitter) chief Elon Musk, adding “@elonmusk
looks like extremists are doing really well here” the Taliban govt PR said, “Mr. Macco, Elon Musk needs us more than we need him. We have all the lithium in the world.”
But if you plan to go and wear sport-appropriate clothing, you are about to step on a minefield and so, don’t say we did not warn you. One netizen asked: “Is skiing allowed for women visiting as tourists, with proper modest clothing?”
Guess the reply?
“Our beloved sister, as long as the clothes are traditional, then females will be permitted to ski in our rugged mountains. Although we prefer if they stay at home and look after our masculine babies and not get involved in manly sports.”
Afghanistan has banned women from attending colleges, and universities and from working in offices or running businesses. Highlighting the damage that has been done to the education system since the return of Taliban in Afghanistan, Maleiha Malik, Executive Director of Protect Education in Insecurity and Conflict (PEIC) reportedly said that the country is on the list with the worst educational situation, Tolo News reported on Friday.
Meanwhile, Afghanistan is well known for its enormous mineral wealth, which remains untapped due to decades of conflict and prolonged political and economic instability.
Since the collapse of the former Afghan government and the return to power of the Taliban in August 2021, the country’s mining industry has been in the spotlight.
Needless to add that the interim Taliban administration enjoys neither national nor international recognition.