First female Afghan pilot fears for women in Afghanistan

On Balance with Leland Vittert

CHICAGO (NewsNation Now) — The first female Afghan pilot says it “brings pain into my heart” to think of what the future holds for women in Afghanistan now that the Taliban is in control.

“It’s absolutely scary to watch,” Niloofar Rahmani said “On Balance” Tuesday. “Just speechless, honestly, I have no word to describe what the future is going to bring.”

Rahmani was in the Afghan Air Force. She left years ago because of the death threats against her and her family. She recently got them out of the country.

“It just brings pain into my heart, to see what the future is going to look like, the future of Afghan women,” Rahmani said.

So far, there are few signs of the draconian restrictions the Taliban imposed last time they were in power. Schools have reopened to boys and girls, though Taliban officials have said they will study separately. Women are out on the streets wearing Islamic headscarves — as they always have — rather than the all-encompassing burqa the Taliban required in the past.

On Tuesday, the Taliban also reiterated their pledge to bring peace and security to the country after decades of war. 

“I’m afraid for Afghanistan’s future,” Rahmani said. “ISIS and Taliban, they all going to make that country their huge training base and it’s going to hurt the world.”

President Joe Biden said Tuesday that the United States’ exit from Afghanistan was an “extraordinary success.”

Rahmani is disappointed with how the Afghanistan government responded to the withdrawal.

“Afghan troops, Afghan military, Army, Air Force, they all fought when they had a backup,” Rahmani said. “But, as we all know, the president of Afghanistan abandoned the whole country, the whole people, it killed the entire motivation of Afghan soldiers.”

Watch On Balance with Leland Vittert weeknights at 8/7c.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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