Taliban urges women to join its government in Afghanistan

A senior member of Taliban claimed that they don’t want women to be victims

Maroosha Muzaffar
Tuesday 17 August 2021 12:32
Afghanistan: Crowds scale jet bridge at Kabul airport in desperate bid to escape Taliban

A senior member of the Taliban on Tuesday announced a general “amnesty” for everyone in the country and urged women to join the government, days after the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan.

Enamullah Samangani, a member of Taliban’s cultural commission, claimed on Afghan state television that women in Afghanistan had no reason to be afraid.

He said: “The Islamic Emirate doesn’t want women to be victims.” He added: “The structure of government is not fully clear, but based on experience, there should be a fully Islamic leadership and all sides should join.”

Mr Samangani said that women “should be in the government structure according to Shariah law”.

Associated Press reported that this marked a departure from the last time the Taliban were in power when women were largely confined to their homes. And those who violated the Taliban’s rules faced flogging in public and execution.

In an interview with BBC, the Taliban spokesperson Sohail Shaheen said that the reports of girls being sent home from schools in some parts of the country were not true.

Fawzia Koofi, a women’s rights activist and former lawmaker was quoted by NBC as saying “women in Afghanistan are the most at danger or most at-risk population of the country.”

Another Afghan woman, Nasreen Sultani, the principal of the Sardar-e-Kabuli Girls High School in Kabul was quoted as saying: “I am very sad. When I see all these girls, I get really upset now.”

She added: “I tried, but we couldn’t manage to make sure that women get out of this miserable situation.” Ms Sultani was threatened by the Taliban in the past.

It was also not clear what the Taliban meant by “amnesty”.

Other Taliban leaders have said that they won’t seek revenge on those who worked with the Afghan government or foreign countries, but there have been reports of recrimibations already taking place.

Afghanistan faces massive uncertainty with the Taliban now in control of the country. Former president Ashraf Ghani fled the country on the day the group took over the presidential palace.

There was subsequent chaos and fear among many Afghan locals. Hundreds ran towards the international airport in Kabul and several clung to the wheels of a departing US military aircraft. One disturbing video that was circulated online showed a few men falling to their death once the aeroplane took off.

The Washington Post reported that human remains were found in the wheel well of a US Air Force plane that departed from Kabul airport on Monday.

Meanwhile, on Monday, the US president Joe Biden said in a televised address from the White House that he stood “squarely behind” his decision to withdraw American forces from Afghanistan and acknowledged the “gut-wrenching” images unfolding in Kabul.

He said: “After 20 years, I have learned the hard way that there was never a good time to withdraw US forces.”

China said that it is ready to develop “friendly relations” with the Taliban. And Reuters, quoting two anonymous sources, reported on Tuesday that Turkey has dropped plans to take over Kabul airport after US forces withdrawal from Afghanistan but is “ready to provide support if the Taliban request it.”

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