The Taliban proclaimed a message of peace in their first media conference in Kabul, Tuesday (17/8), since capturing the Afghan presidential palace at the weekend.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid echoed assurances from the group’s officials seeking to calm fears that the seizure of Kabul would result in a return to public executions and punishments like two decades ago.
“We don’t want to repeat conflicts, wars again, and we want to eliminate the factors of conflict,” Mujahid said through an interpreter.
“The hostilities are over, and we want to live in peace. We don’t want enemies, either internal or external,” he continued.
He said a new government would be formed as soon as conditions in Kabul allowed.
Mujahid also again touched on women’s rights, an aspect that has become a major concern for the international public over Afghanistan. According to Mujahid, women’s rights will be respected and women will be allowed to work and study, as well as be active in society.
“But with an Islamic framework,” Mujahid added.
They also promised pardons or amnesty for former members of the Afghan army and police. Mujahid said translators and contractors working with international forces since 2001 would not be harmed.
“No one will hurt you, no one will knock on your door,” said Mujahid.
He also added that the Taliban hoped that people who panicked and tried to save themselves by catching a plane at Kabul Airport some time ago would stay, and help rebuild the country.
The Taliban also promised that Afghanistan, which the United Nations Drug Administration says is the world’s source of heroin, will be drug-free.
They called on the international community to help local farmers develop alternative crops. Afghan farmers have long relied on opium for a livelihood.
The Taliban previously declared the war in Afghanistan was over after the group occupied the presidential palace in Kabul on Sunday (15/8).
“Today is a big day for the Afghan people and the mujahideen (Taliban). They are witnessing the fruits of their 20 years of efforts and sacrifices,” the spokesman for the Taliban’s Political Office, Mohammad Naeem, told Al-Jazeera, quoted by Reuters on Monday (16/16). /8).
He then said, “Thank you, God. The war in this country is over.”
Meanwhile, Afghanistan’s vice president, Amrullah Saleh, said he was still in the country and was now acting president.
In a tweet via social media accounts, Tuesday (17/8), Saleh stated that by law he is the legitimate supreme leader in the absence of the president. He, whose position is unknown, also refuses to submit to the Taliban.
“According to the clear rules of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, in the event the President is absent, flees or dies, the First Vice President will become the acting President,” Saleh said.
“I am in the country and I am legally and legally responsible for this position. I consult with all the leaders of the country to strengthen this position,” he concluded.
Photo: The ranks of the Taliban group commanders and their bodyguards are seen in the office of the Afghan president (Source: courtesy)