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Tags: Afghanistan | taliban | mujahid | afghanistan

Spokesman: Taliban Wants to 'Forget What Happened in the Past'

Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid at a press conference.
Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid attends the first press conference in Kabul, on August 17, since their takeover of Afghanistan. (HOSHANG HASHIMI/AFP via Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 26 August 2021 08:08 AM

Taliban chief spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid says his group wants to "forget what happened in the past" and instead focus on rebuilding Afghanistan, and rejected fears that the group wants to impose the same harsh rules that were in play when it ruled the country two decades ago. 

"We want to build the future," Mujahid, who is widely expected to become the new government's minister of information and culture, told The New York Times in his first Western media sit-down interview since the Taliban seized control of Afghanistan earlier this month. 

He denied that the Taliban is seeking out former interpreters and other people who worked for the American military and against them, and he insisted that the controls that had been placed on women 20 years ago will not be reinstated. 

However, Mujahid's interview came a day after he'd warned Afghan women to remain home because many Taliban fighters have not been trained not to abuse them. 

Many of the changes in Afghan society in the years since the Taliban was in charge involve women, who became free to leave their homes unaccompanied, wear what they want, and return to work and school. 

Mujahid said women will be free, as the situation continues, to resume daily routines. However, there is already a new rule that women be accompanied by a male guardian or mahram, but he said that rule only applies to women undertaking trips of three days or longer. 

“If they go to school, the office, university, or the hospital, they don’t need a mahram,” said  Mujahid. 

And when it comes to Afghans trying to leave their country, Mujahid insisted that people with valid travel documents won't be prevented from entering the airport. 

“We said that people who don’t have proper documents aren’t allowed to go,” Mujahid said. “They need passports and visas for the countries they’re going to, and then they can leave by air. If their documents are valid, then we’re not going to ask what they were doing before.”

But that doesn't mean he's happy with Western efforts to evacuate the country, or with the numbers of people who are leaving. 

“They shouldn’t interfere in our country and take out our human resources: doctors, professors, other people we need here,” Mujahid said. “In America, they might become dishwashers or cooks. It’s inhuman.”

But while Mujahid was insisting that today's Taliban is more tolerant than it had been in the past, he confirmed that under the group's rule, music once again will not be allowed in public. 

"Music is forbidden in Islam, but we’re hoping that we can persuade people not to do such things, instead of pressuring them," he said. 

Meanwhile, even with the growing tension at the Kabul airport, Mujahid said he hopes the Taliban and the international community will eventually build good relations, including cooperating on counterterrorism, eradicating opium, and reducing the number of refugees leaving for the west. 

© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


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Taliban chief spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid says his group wants to "forget what happened in the past" and instead focus on rebuilding Afghanistan, and rejected fears that the group wants to impose the same harsh rules that were in play when it ruled the country two decades...
taliban, mujahid, afghanistan
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2021-08-26
Thursday, 26 August 2021 08:08 AM
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