Taliban holds first press conference since takeover of Kabul

Taliban hold first press conference since takeover of Kabul

Taliban has held their first press conference since taking power by declaring “amnesty” for government officials and vowing to uphold women’s rights under Islamic law.

A Taliban spokesperson said the group would respect women’s rights and press freedom. It would not launch attacks on the US and others from Afghan soil, and said it would grant amnesty to opposing forces. Zabihullah Mujahid said on the press conference that “We forgive everyone, because it is in the interest of peace and stability in Afghanistan. All the groups that were confronting us are all forgiven.”

Meanwhile The UN and others expressed doubt the Taliban would carry through on their statements, as images emerged showing wounded Afghans, reportedly attacked by Taliban forces as they tried to make their way to the airport.

There have also been some reports of violence against anti-Taliban protests in Khost and Jalalabad, including fatalities. An activist for girls’ education, Pashtana Durrani, said the Taliban needs to take more concrete steps.

Pashtana Durrani said that “The Taliban should give a statement out that all these girls should be going to all these public schools, and no foot soldiers are allowed to harass them or target them or stop them, and then they should continue the way they are studying, right? If they’re OK with all that, we’re good to go. Then I’m optimistic. But they have to walk the talk. Right now they’re not doing that.”

However, there have been unconfirmed reports of Taliban fighters entering the homes of Kabul residents, but Mujahid said those were impostors who should be turned over to the Taliban and face appropriate punishment.