KABUL, Afghanistan — The Afghan government has declared a state of emergency in KABUL. The Taliban promised Tuesday to protect women’s rights, pardon opponents, and ensure Afghanistan does not become a haven for terrorists.
The Taliban has attempted to portray itself as more moderate than when it imposed a strict form of Islamic rule in the late 1990s. Many Afghans, however, remain dubious, and hundreds have rushed to the airport in an attempt to escape the country.
The Taliban used to confine women to their houses, outlaw television and music, and execute public executions. Months after the 9/11 attacks, a US-led assault deposed them, which al-Qaida plotted from Afghanistan while sheltered by the Taliban.
The Taliban’s long-time spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, addressed these issues in public for the first time on Tuesday.
He pledged that the Taliban will respect women’s rights in accordance with Islamic law, but he did not elaborate. The Taliban have encouraged women to return to work and children to school, supplying Islamic headscarves. In a TV studio on Monday, a female anchorwoman interviewed a Taliban official.
It varies widely throughout the Muslim world, and even within a single country, with rural areas being far more conservative. Neighboring Pakistan has had female prime ministers, while ultraconservative Saudi Arabia just allowed women to drive.
As in the years before to 9/11, the Taliban declared they would not allow Afghanistan to be used as a base for attacks on other countries. This promise was part of a 2020 Taliban-Trump peace deal that allowed the US to leave.
U.S. forces are preparing to evacuate thousands of Afghan citizens through Kabul’s international airport, the Pentagon said. It said that the Taliban had not carried out any aggressive operations in the area.
Afghans who worked with the US or the Western-backed administration will be completely amnestied, Mujahid said. Il an admonished journalists not to “act against national values” while private media should “remain
As the Taliban patrol the streets of Kabul, the city has remained quiet. However, many people are still afraid after jails and armories were emptied during the rebels’ march throughout the nation.
It’s unclear whether the shooters were Taliban or criminals dressed as militants, but residents say groups of armed men went door-to-door searching for former government and security officials. After the police had dissolved, Mujahid said the Taliban had invaded Kabul to restore law and order.
She said she was hiding away at a relative’s house, unable to come home, much alone work. She and other women, she says, do not think the Taliban have altered their methods. She talked on the condition of anonymity because she was concerned about her safety.
Afghan women wearing Islamic headscarves demonstrated briefly in Kabul, urging the Taliban not to “remove women from public life,”
A UN Human Rights spokesperson emphasized the Taliban’s promises and ordinary Afghan fears.
“Such promises must be maintained, and for now, given recent events, they are being viewed with skepticism,” he said.
Whatever their true intentions, the Taliban want to seem moderate to avoid the world community isolating their government as it did in the 1990s.
So long as the political situation improves, the EU indicated it would consider boosting humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan.
According to EU Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell, the Taliban must respect U.N. 1.2 billion euros ($1.4 billion) in development funds put aside until 2024.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said that Britain might give up to 10% extra humanitarian assistance. It will be reformed to concentrate on development and humanitarian needs, not security, he added.
Evacuation flights began after being halted on Monday due to the influx of thousands of people at the airport. In horrific video footage, several clung to an aircraft as it lifted off, only to fall to their deaths. According to US authorities, at least seven individuals were killed in the airport mayhem.
The Taliban stormed the civilian side of the airport on Tuesday and shot into the air, displacing about 500 people, an Afghan official said on condition of anonymity.
Rather than preventing individuals from leaving, the Taliban seemed to be attempting to manage the throng. A video that circulated on the internet showed the Taliban overseeing the orderly departure of dozens of Westerners.
The US Embassy in Kabul has advised Americans to register for evacuation online but not to report to the airport until summoned.
Due to the chaos, the first German military transport plane landed in Kabul but only had seven soldiers on board. Another group of 125 individuals departed afterward.
Afghanistan’s Western-backed government and security forces were blamed for the quick Taliban takeover, according to US President Joe Biden. But NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said that the alliance must examine its efforts to train the Afghan troops.
The Taliban and Afghan authorities, including former President Hamid Karzai and former negotiating council leader Abdullah Abdullah, began talks on Tuesday. The Taliban have stated their desire to establish an “inclusive, Islamic government.”
The talks focused on how a Taliban-dominated government might work in Afghanistan given the developments in the last two decades, officials familiar with the talks said on condition of anonymity.
On Tuesday night, a top Taliban leader from Qatar arrived in Kandahar, perhaps suggesting a deal is close.
Meanwhile, the deposed government’s vice president declared that he was the country’s “legitimate” caretaker president. Amrullah Saleh said that he should be in control under the constitution since President Ashraf Ghani had left the country.
Faiez contributed reporting from Istanbul, Gannon from Guelph, Ontario, and Krauss from Jerusalem. Tameem Akhgar in Istanbul, Jon Gambrell in Dubai, Kirsten Grieshaber in Berlin, Jan M. Olsen in Copenhagen, Denmark, Pan Pylas in London, and Aya Batrawy in Dubai.