We don’t want internal or external enemies: Taliban

Kabul, Aug 17 (IANS) Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said on Tuesday that the insurgent group does not wish to “repeat any conflict, any war”.

“We want to do away with the factors for conflict. Therefore, the Islamic Emirate does not have any kind of hostility or animosity towards anybody,” Mujahid said in his first press conference since the Taliban overthrew the Afghanistan government on Sunday.

He added that all animosity “has come to an end”.

“We would like to live peacefully. We do not want any internal or external enemies,” he said, Geo News reported.

The Taliban would not seek retribution against former soldiers and members of the Western-backed government, the spokesman said, saying the movement is granting amnesty to former Afghan government soldiers as well as the contractors and translators who worked for international forces.

Speaking on women’s rights, he said it is a “very important issue”.

“The Islamic Emirate is committed to the rights of women within the framework of Sharia. Our sisters, our women will have the same rights, and will be able to benefit from them.

“They can have activities in different sectors and areas on the basis of our rules and regulations — in education, health and other areas,” Mujahid said, adding that “they will work with us shoulder-to-shoulder”.

Mujahid also said that any concern regarding women that the international community may have, the Taliban would like to “assure them that there will be no discrimination against women”.

He reminded the world, however, that “our women are Muslims who will be happy to be living within the framework of Sharia (law)”.

Mujahid also said that private media could continue to be free and independent in Afghanistan, adding that the Taliban is committed to the media within its cultural framework.

“Islam is a very important value in our country. Nothing should be against Islamic values when it comes to the activities of the media,” he said.

“They can critique our work so that we can improve,” the Taliban spokesman added.