Spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid makes reassuring statements in group’s first press conference
NEW DELHI – Seeking to calm tempers, the Taliban have declared general amnesty saying they have forgiven everyone who fought with them. They also sought peaceful ties with foreign countries. “We don’t want any internal or external enemies,” said the group’s spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid in Kabul while addressing a press conference on Tuesday, August 17. It was their first interaction with the outside world after seizing power on August 15.
He said there was an amnesty for former Afghan government soldiers as well as contractors and translators who worked for international forces. “Nobody is going to harm you, nobody is going to knock on your doors,” he said.
Mujahid also asserted that rights of women will be protected within the framework of Islam. “Taliban are committed to providing women their rights based on Islam. Women can work in the health sector and other sectors where they are needed. There will be no discrimination against women,” Mujahid said.
Stressing that Afghanistan was now emancipated, the spokesman also gave assurance to foreign governments. “The security of embassies in Kabul is of crucial importance to us. We would like to assure all foreign countries that our forces are there to ensure the security of all embassies, missions, international organizations, and aid agencies,” he said.
The Taliban spokesman assured that the group wanted private media to “remain independent,” but stressed journalists “should not work against national values”.
He also assured the world that no one will be allowed to use Afghan territory for attacks against any nation. “I would like to ensure I would like to assure the international community, including the United States, that nobody will be harmed,” the spokesman said.
“In Afghanistan, I would like to assure our neighbours, our original countries we are not going to allow our territory to be used against anybody or any country in the world. So the whole global community should be assured that we are committed to these pleasures that you will not be harmed.”