The Taliban made several announcements on Tuesday in an apparent effort to calm fears in the West, saying that nobody will be harmed in Afghanistan, offering “amnesty” to “opposition”, and welcoming women in government.
A spokesperson for the Taliban appeared to offer an olive branch to the international community during a news conference in Kabul on Tuesday, according to an Al Jazeera translation, NBC reported.
“I would like to assure the international community, including the U.S., that nobody will be harmed in Afghanistan,” Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said. “You will not be harmed from our soil.”
“We don’t have any grudges,” Mujahid added.
“Our nation is a Muslim nation, whether 20 years ago or now,” Mujahid said. “But when it comes to experience, maturity, vision, there is a huge difference between us in comparison to 20 years ago.”
“Nearly 65 percent of the population of Afghanistan is under twenty-five years old,” former President George W. Bush said in a statement released on Tuesday, Fox reported. The Taliban seems to be aware of that fact and wants to keep young people in the country.
In the press conference, Mujahid stated that he did not want Afghani youth to leave the country, describing them as the nation’s “assets.”
Mujahid added that former fighters against the Taliban, interpreters, and contractors were all “pardoned.”
The Taliban, now calling its new government “The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan,” also appeared to seek to alleviate fears that the group would exact revenge on its former opposition now that it has seized control of the government.
“The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan with full dignity and honesty has announced a complete amnesty for all Afghanistan, especially those who were with the opposition or supported the occupiers for years and recently,” spokesperson Enamullah Samangani, a member of the Taliban’s cultural commission, the Associated Press reported. “We assure you that nobody will go to their doors to ask why they helped.”
Spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid said the Taliban will honor women’s rights, but within the norms of Islamic law, allowing them to work and study, though giving few details, the AP reported.
“The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan is ready to provide women with environment to work and study,” Samangani said, according to the Daily Wire, “and the presence of women in different (government) structures according to Islamic law and in accordance with our cultural values.”