The Taliban’s Ministry of Propagation of Virtue and Prevention of Vice responded to former Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s remarks that female TV presenters are not supposed to and should not observe Taliban directives on covering their faces, saying Karzai had wanted women’s freedoms for the past 20 years for the satisfaction of foreigners. His wife did not have the same freedoms.

In a recent interview with the American news network CNN, Karzai stated that female television presenters are not obligated to obey Taliban directives and should not do so.

Women in Afghanistan wear the hijab, according to Karzai; nevertheless, covering one’s face is not a hijab, but a tradition in other countries, “not Afghan tradition”.

“Burqa has come to Afghanistan probably 200-300 years ago, and countryside women don’t wear” it, said Karzai, adding Afghanistan has been a Muslim country for 1400 years and that the covering of the face isn’t Hijab but a tradition “in some countries, not Afghan tradition.” 

Women who are “unveiled” are also subjected to “punishment” by the aforementioned ministry.

The ministry’s order specifies that a woman without hijab’s house shall be identified first, and her guardian should be advised and penalized. The unveiled woman’s guardian is summoned in the second step, and is imprisoned for three days in the third step. Similarly, the guardian of the unveiled woman should be taken to court and sentenced to an appropriate punishment in the fourth step.


  • Saqalain Eqbal is an Online Editor for Khaama Press. He is a Law graduate from The American University of Afghanistan (AUAF).