Hema Malini, Anoushey Ashraf recall visiting Afghanistan

Actors recalled their 'wonderful' visit to 'flourishing' Afghanistan - a grim contrast to the military-ladden state

Entertainment Desk August 17, 2021

Former Afghan President Ashraf Ghani's departure on Sunday finalised the collapse of his government in Afghanistan as the Taliban took over. His whereabouts are currently unknown. The Taliban sought to reassure the international community that Afghans should not fear them, with co-founder Abdul Ghani Baradar saying the militants needed to show that they could "serve our nation and ensure security".

However, many have expressed concerns about what the future holds for women and girls in the country. Several stars have voiced their thoughts and condemned the rule of the Taliban in Afghanistan. Other than that, few celebs have recalled their 'wonderful' experience in the country, when they visited the 'flourishing' Afghanistan - a grim contrast to the military-ladden state in today's age. 

Bollywood veteran Hema Malini had shot for her film Dharmatma, which also starred fellow actor Feroze Khan. Malini shared all of her scenes in the film were shot in Afghanistan. "What is happening to a happy, once peaceful nation, Afghanistan, is truly sad, " the Sholay star shared. "My great memories of Afghanistan date back to ‘Dharmatma’- I play a gypsy girl and my portion was shot entirely there. Had a great time as my parents were with me and Feroz Khan took good care of us.

Elaborating further, Malini told Times of India, “The Kabul I knew was so beautiful and my experience there was very nice. We had landed at Kabul Airport, which was at the time as small as the Mumbai airport, and we stayed at a hotel nearby. But eventually, we travelled to locations like Bamiyan and Band-e-Amir for our shooting and while returning back we would see these men with these long kurtas and beards, who looked like Taliban. At that time Russians were also a force in Afghanistan."

Popular host Anoushey Ashraf took to Instagram and shared few pictures from her trip to the country. "Glimpses of my beautiful trip to Afghanistan. I was lucky to visit Kabul, Herat, Mazar Sharif, etc for a television show in 2016. Once it aired on the channel, my inbox was flooded with Afghanis full of adoration, love and fans who admired me, my work and a lot of other Pakistani artists," she penned. 

She further added, "On this trip, I met girls who wanted to cycle for the Olympics, boys who only wanted to be the next Messi. I met Imams at Masjids who greeted me with love, respect and duas. I met fantastic tv hosts who were living under tense conditions but were also excited about the new game shows they were launching. I met writers, poets and restauranteurs. I met children of the Hazara, beautiful even with their Traumas. They were exactly like you and me. And today, they’re helpless, homeless and abandoned. This doesn’t make the Govt (corrupt Ghani) or the Americans my heroes. But are the Taliban any better? So stop your hate. In this moment, whoever leads the nation it’s still in crisis and people's lives have been disrupted all over again. not fair! No one wants to leave their homes and live like a refugee." 

She concluded, "The Taliban says they’re ready to evolve and give women and children their rights. Let’s not hail them heroes yet. They’ve said they have learned from the past. Only time will tell. Reaching out to all my Afghan friends tonight, you are in my prayers. Humanity first."

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