Khaled Hosseini, born in Afghanistan but left as a child, added that the United States has a responsibility to the women and girls of the country in the wake of the recent unrest.
Mr. Hosseini was speaking after Statement by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres during an emergency summit, at which he said: “I am particularly concerned by the stories of growing human rights violations against women and girls in Afghanistan.
Thank you for your leadership, Mr. Prime Minister, and for allowing me to share the concerns I hear from women in Afghanistan. I urge the Security Council to pass a resolution to protect Afghan women, girls and minorities. https://t.co/tWAUoWk25z
– Malala (@Malala) August 16, 2021
And Malala Yousafzai, who was shot in the head by Taliban gunmen in Pakistan and campaigned for women’s rights, also shared her concerns.
Responding to a message from the Norwegian Prime Minister, the 24-year-old said: “Thank you for your leadership, Prime Minister, and for allowing me to share the concerns I hear from women in Afghanistan. I urge the Security Council to pass a resolution to protect Afghan women, girls and minorities. “
Speaking to Sky News, Mr Hosseini said: “I fear for women and girls more than any other group in Afghanistan.
“Traditionally, when there is conflict and extremism in Afghanistan, it is those who suffer the most. “
Mr. Hosseini’s first novel, The Kite Runner, was based on his experience growing up and leaving Afghanistan, with Taliban rule playing a part in the story.
A follow-up book, titled A Thousand Splendid Suns, is also based in Afghanistan and has women and girls as protagonists.
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The author admitted that it was “cruel” that the openness of society experienced since the end of the Taliban regime in 2001 could be interrupted so quickly.
He said: “The last 20 years have been difficult and there have been a lot of frustrations and setbacks along the way.
“But it is undeniable that – at least in the urban pockets – the conditions of women have radically changed.
“Women are now back in the public sphere. They worked in the government. They worked in NGOs. They obviously worked as educators.
“And so all of this is now under threat.
“I think if you are a woman in Afghanistan, you are rightly afraid given the record of the Taliban.
“So this is the group that worries me the most, and this is the group that I believe the United States has a responsibility to protect and the international community to exert pressure on the Taliban to prevent violations of. human rights against women and girls in Afghanistan. ”