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Will honour rights of women: Taliban

Published: 17th Aug 2021 11:08 pm

Kabul: A Taliban spokesman has pledged to honor women’s rights, but within the norms of Islamic law. Zabihullah Mujahid made the comment Tuesday at his first news conference. For years, he had been a shadowy figure issuing statements on behalf of the militants. His assertion that the Taliban would protect women’s rights comes after the Taliban’s earlier rule saw women’s lives and rights severely restricted.

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Mujahid also said the Taliban wanted private media to “remain independent,” but stressed journalists “should not work against national values.” Mujahid also stressed that Afghanistan would not allow itself to harbor anyone targeting other nations. That was a key demand in a deal the militants struck with the Trump administration in 2020 that led to the ultimate US withdraw under current President Joe Biden. He promised the insurgents would secure Afghanistan after they took over the country following a blitz that lasted over a week. He said the insurgents sought no revenge.

Earlier, the Taliban declared an “amnesty” across Afghanistan and urged women to join their government, seeking to convince a wary population that they have changed a day after deadly chaos gripped the main airport as desperate crowds tried to flee their rule. Following a blitz across Afghanistan that saw many cities fall to the insurgents without a fight, the Taliban have sought to portray themselves as more moderate than when they imposed a brutal rule in the late 1990s. The capital of Kabul remained quiet for another day as the Taliban patrolled its streets and many residents stayed home, remain fearful after the insurgents’ takeover saw prisons emptied and armories looted. Many women have expressed dread that the two-decade Western experiment to expand their rights and remake Afghanistan would not survive the resurgent Taliban. Germany, meanwhile, halted development aid to Afghanistan over the Taliban takeover. Such aid is a crucial source of funding for the country — and the Taliban’s efforts to project a milder version of themselves may be aimed at ensuring that money continues to flow. The promises of amnesty from Enamullah Samangani, a member of the Taliban’s cultural commission, were the first comments on how the Taliban might govern on a national level. His remarks remained vague, however, as the Meanwhile, women in hijabs demonstrated briefly in Kabul, holding signs demanding the Taliban not “eliminate women” from public life. Germany suspended development aid to Afghanistan, estimated at 250 million euros ($294 million) for 2021. Sweden indicated it would slow aid to the country, but Britain committed to an increase. British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said humanitarian aid could rise by 10%.

Meanwhile, Kabul’s international airport, the only way out for many, reopened to military evacuation flights under the watch of American troops.

US President Joe Biden conceded that the Taliban takeover happened “more quickly” than anticipated, but insisted that he remains “squarely behind” his decision to withdraw American troops from the war-torn country, amidst “gut-wrenching” images emerging out of Kabul. In his address to the nation from the White House on Monday following the dramatic fall of the Afghan national government to the Taliban, a defiant Biden rejected blame for messy pull out.

Also read:

Biden says he stands ‘squarely’ behind his decision to withdraw troops from Afghanistan

Heart-wrenching video of Afghan girl about their present state goes viral

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