September 15, 2021 Faith Matters

Afghanistan women’s football players arrive in Pakistan after fleeing Taliban

Members of the Afghan women’s football team and their families have arrived in Pakistan after fleeing their country following the Taliban takeover, local media said.

It is unclear how many players and family members were allowed to enter in Pakistan.

According to Pakistan’s information minister Fawad Chaudhry, the players entered Pakistan at the north-western Torkham border crossing, holding valid travel documents.

“We welcome Afghanistan women football team,” he tweeted, providing no further details.

Pakistan’s English-language newspaper The Dawn said the footballers were issued emergency humanitarian visas after the Taliban takeover of Kabul.

The Taliban have not commented, but an official confirmed that under the government’s interpretation of Islam, women are not allowed to play any sports where they could potentially be exposed.

Last week, the Taliban announced an all-male interim government for Afghanistan stacked with veterans of their hardline rule from the 1990s and the 20-year battle against the US-led coalition.

The move seems unlikely to win the international support the new leaders need to avoid an economic meltdown.