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Afghans, who are in their 20s and 30s-- are now used to a different life which has been free, democratic and open.

By Mahua Venkatesh

Afghanistan, especially its social hue, in the last two decades has dramatically changed, something that the Taliban or even Pakistans Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) that played a key role in government formation in the country after the US troops withdrawal, may not have accounted for.

Foreign policy watchers told India Narrative that the young Afghans – typically those who are in their 20s and 30s-- are now used to a different life which has been free, democratic and open.

"For the Taliban, the biggest challenge is to gain acceptability of the people of Afghanistan, who are now used to their freedom and are quite conscious of their rights—men and women both," one of them said, adding that it may not be easy for the hardline government to manage them even in the medium term.

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Taliban have mandated the segregation of genders in classrooms and said that female students, lecturers and employees must wear hijabs in accordance with the group's interpretation of Sharia law.

Afghan women around the world are protesting the Taliban's new hijab diktat in schools by posting photos of themselves wearing colorful traditional dresses on social media, CNN reported.

The Taliban have mandated the segregation of genders in classrooms and said that female students, lecturers and employees must wear hijabs in accordance with the group's interpretation of Sharia law. Photos have emerged of a group of female students wearing head-to-toe black robes and waving Taliban flags in the lecture hall of a government-run university in Kabul. Other Afghan women responded by posting pictures of themselves in bright and colorful traditional Afghan dresses -- a stark contrast to the black hijab mandate outlined by the Taliban.

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Islamic Taliban militia trying to enforce a rigid interpretation of the Shariah law, using a whip to force the locals to attend the Friday prayer at the Pole-Kheshti mosque in central Kabul

When the Taliban gained control of most of Afghanistan in 1996, they enforced a strict version of Shariah, or Islamic law. Their interpretation of the Islamic system of governance barred women from working and permitted public executions.

Now that the Taliban are once again in control of the country, Afghans fear the return of their brutal rule, which the Taliban says is derived from Shariah. In an exclusive interview Wednesday with Reuters, senior Taliban commander Waheedullah Hashimi explained that Afghanistan will not have a democratic system.

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In this Feb. 15, 2017, photo, orchestra leader Zarifa Adiba, 18, conducts during a concert in Kabul. Afghanistan’s first all-female symphony is trying to change attitudes in a deeply conservative country where many see music as immoral, especially for women. VOA

Afghanistan’s first – and only – all-female symphony is trying to change attitudes in a deeply conservative country where many see music as immoral, especially for women.

The symphony’s two conductors show how difficult that can be, but also how satisfying success is.

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