In first press conference, Taliban say they seek no ‘revenge’, will respect women’s rights

WION Web Team
NEW DELHI Published: Aug 17, 2021, 10:27 PM(IST)

In its first press conference since the sweeping takeover of Afghanistan, Taliban's Zabihullah Mujahid says they have "emancipated" the nation from foreigners after 20 years of struggle. Photograph:( Twitter )

Story highlights

The Taliban held its first official news conference in Kabul since the shock seizure of the city, declaring on Tuesday it wished for peaceful relations with other countries.

The Taliban declared that the war in Afghanistan was over and that all of their opponents would be pardoned during their first press conference since seizing control of Kabul from the Western-backed government. 

“We don’t want any internal or external enemies,” the Taliban’s main spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said.

The Taliban pledged a secure Afghanistan as part of a public relations campaign aimed at persuading world powers and a fearful population that they have reformed.

Mujahid promised the Taliban would honour women's rights, but within the norms of Islamic law.

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The Taliban have attempted to present themselves as more moderate than when they established a harsh rule in the late 1990s, following a rapid advance throughout Afghanistan that saw major cities fall to the militants without a struggle. 

The organisation had previously declared a "amnesty" across Afghanistan and asked women to join its administration, in an attempt to calm anxieties in a tense capital city where hundreds had flocked to the city's international airport in a desperate attempt to flee the day before.

The capital of Kabul remained quiet for another day as the Taliban patrolled its streets and many residents stayed home, 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.

(With inputs from agencies)

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