A visibly shaken news anchor of an Afghanistan political debate show told viewers on Tuesday, Aug. 31, to cooperate with Taliban rule as the group's intimidating gun-toting soldiers stood menacingly behind him, surrounding the media man during a live broadcast.

The journalist, identified as Mirwaiz Haidari Haqdost, was reportedly hosting a political debate show in Afghan TV’s Peace Studio when members of the Taliban came rushing in to speak to the host of the show, according to the Independent.

The 42-second clip that has since circulated around social media shows Haqdost speaking about the Ghani government, who abandoned Afghanistan while taking off with millions of dollars in cash after the U.S. announced its intention to leave the country.

The host then told viewers that they should cooperate with the Taliban and not be afraid of the group's potentially repressive influence on the country.

The full program, called "Pardaz," also contained an interview with a Taliban fighter whose rank is assumed to be higher than the soldiers that surrounded and hounded Haqdost earlier in the broadcast.

Social media has lit up with comments on the nature of the clip and how it could possibly indicate the lack of press freedom that might occur inside the Taliban’s newly established regime, the New York Daily News reported.

“This is what a political debate now looks like on Afghan TV,” BBC reporter Yalda Hakim said on Twitter. “Taliban foot soldiers watching over the host.”

“Taliban itself is synonymous with fear in the minds of millions. This is just another proof,” said Iranian journalist Masih Alinejad.

This shocking video has gone viral as the Taliban promised the world that independent media will be allowed to continue to operate in the country. However, journalists appear to still be a target of the Taliban in their efforts to repress free speech.

“It is evident that the Taliban are already carrying out [organized] searches for journalists, both in Kabul and in the provinces. We are running out of time!” German broadcasting company Deutsche Welle said. Three of their journalists’ homes have reportedly been raided by the Taliban.

Afghan journalist Beheshta Arghand, along with other Afghan journalists, has fled the country out of fear that the Taliban's repressive regime would extend to the media of the country, according to CNN.

"I left the country because, like millions of people, I fear the Taliban," she said.

As the Taliban consolidates control of Afghanistan, the country's independent media is being threatened by fears of repression from the regime's soldiers. Noorullah Shirzada/Getty Images

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