Exclusive: A young Afghan woman abducted by the Taliban while trying to flee the country has spoken of her ordeal, as she outlined her plans on being a voice for her people.
Ms Koofi told 9News she had gone to the airport days earlier, with her family, when Taliban members recognised her mother as an MP.
“Sadly, Taliban standing there recognised my mum’s face, our cars were standing there,” Ms Koofi said.
“We heard the other guy say, ‘They’re MPs! They’re MPs!’
“Suddenly I saw maybe 20 Taliban, they just surrounded the cars.
“We didn’t know what would happen next, we waited for like 30 minutes, 40 minutes, one of them came, they took out the driver, he sat in the car and started driving.”
Ms Koofi said one man was armed.
“He had the gun there. He was saying ‘Shh, be quiet! We are going to take you somewhere safe,'” she recalled.
“It was not safe, when Taliban takes you (to a) place, is it safe? No, you cannot trust.”
Ms Koofi said there were young children in the car and they pleaded with the Taliban to just take them home.
“They took us on a road, they dropped us, they took our brother-in-law’s phone.
“They checked the guys, took their phones.
“They took boys’ phones but not girls’.
“They left us in the road. They took the cars and they went.
“We were so happy at least they didn’t take us somewhere else, we thought that was the end, that they were going to kill us.”
“I was just hugging my mum, saying, ‘What if we died?'”
Ms Koofi said they ventured back to Hamid Karzai International Airport, where they waited for two days.
“It was a very hard moment, a very sad moment,” Ms Koofi said.
The young woman comes from a deeply political family.
Her mother was an MP, so too her aunt.
Ms Koofi said the women around her had brought her up to be strong and independent.
She worried that might not be possible for young women in Afghanistan under the rule of the Taliban.
“People who are going to be staying there, they going to be having hard times,” Ms Koofi said.
“In Afghanistan right now, under (the) Taliban they will never have a future,” she said.
“I see nothing under the Taliban rule.
“(The) life we had (for the) last 20 years, especially the last six years, there was a big improvement for women.
“For them, it’s going to be hard, for us (from a) new generation, it’s going to be hard.”
Speaking of the Taliban, Ms Koofi said: “Do they respect women or not? The answer is no.
“The way they took us and drop us in the road knowing there were women, and kids with them. They left us in the road, there is no respect for women, there is no future for women.”
Ms Koofi got out of Afghanistan and was speaking to 9News from quarantine in London.
“Now I feel safe, now I feel calm,” she said.
“I cannot say it was good, what we left behind.
“If you ask any Afghan who left the country, they will give you the exact same response.
“It was a bad experience and a bad feeling.”
The young woman, who had aspirations to be a politician in her home country, said she worries for the future of her country, particularly for young women.
“Of course it’s sad,” she said.
“Sometimes I’m thinking, I was looking at my aunt, my sister, they are role models, I was thinking I would be like them one day, helping people.
“But as long as I’m here, I want to help my people out there.
“I will not sit quiet, I will help them and raise their voice as long as I’m here, and as long the world hears their voice.”