Taliban factions “rub shoulders with the jet-set and dodge women in bikinis”: BBC

The incredible natural beauty of the Maldives, its blue waters and warm welcome are not only a main attraction for honeymooners, sun-worshippers and divers – they also seemed to go down pretty well with the rather different visitors from Afghanistan, writes Daud Qarizadah for the BBC.

“Afghanistan is land-locked and for many of those present, this was the first time they had seen the sea. Some had never even left Afghanistan before.

“One first-time delegate in the Maldives said: “It is a beautiful Islamic country and the scenery is amazing.” Another delegate who was also there for the first time added that he “wished Afghanistan would become as peaceful as the Maldives one day”.

“As soon as the delegates arrived at their hotel in Paradise Island, the contrast was striking. They had to hold talks just metres away from where women in bikinis were sunbathing or had just been swimming.

“Whenever the delegates encountered women in bikinis, they turned their eyes away in order to avoid becoming sinful by looking at half-naked women. This was a difficult situation for some to cope with – especially for those delegates who want women to wear the all-covering burka.”

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