August 17, 2021 – 17:44
The Taliban held their first official press conference in Kabul on Tuesday since taking control of Afghanistan.
They have said they want peaceful relations with other countries and that they will respect women’s rights under the framework of Islamic law.
“We do not want internal or external enemies,” said Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid.
He said women would be allowed to work and study and “would be very active in society, but within the rules set by Islam.”
He also said that all translators and other workers, who have worked with foreign forces, have been forgiven and that there will be no revenge against them.
The Taliban claimed victory on August 15 after seizing control of the capital, Kabul, after nearly 20 years of ending the military presence of US-led forces.
The government has fallen and President Ashraf Ghani has fled the country.
His whereabouts are still unknown.
U.S. troops are patrolling Kabul International Airport as desperate residents try to flee the country.
The president of the United States, Joe Biden, has defended his decision to withdraw from Afghanistan, saying that “the mission was never aimed at state-building.”
“I am very saddened by the facts we now face, but I do not regret my decision to end the war in Afghanistan,” Biden said in a speech to the nation on August 16.
“Americans cannot and should not die and fight in a war that Afghans are not ready to fight for themselves,” said President Biden.
According to him, the national interest of the United States in Afghanistan has always been primarily in preventing terrorist attacks.
The US president has said the Afghan government failed to listen to his advice and negotiate a political solution with the Taliban, adding that the collapse of the Afghan government happened much sooner than his administration had expected.
US-led forces ousted the Taliban from power in October 2001.
The Taliban have been harboring Osama bin Laden and other al-Qaeda figures in connection with the September 11 attacks in the United States.
US President Joe Biden has said the US withdrawal is now reasonable, as US forces are assured that Afghanistan will no longer become a base for foreign jihadists to carry out plots against the West. / REL