THE TALIBAN announced a ‘general amnesty’ yesterday for government workers across Afghanistan and urged women to join its government.
‘We must congratulate the victorious struggle we have undertaken,’ Taliban spokesperson Suhail Shaheen said at a special press conference in Kabul yesterday afternoon.
He continued: ‘I would like to welcome the journalists and representatives from the world media. We must all witness the fact that we are at a very important junction in this country.
‘After 20 years of struggle we have emancipated our country and made it free again and expelled the foreigners and I would like to congratulate the whole nation.
‘This is not just a moment of pride for a limited number of people but for the whole nation and the whole history of the nation.
‘Freedom and independence is the legitimate right of every nation.
‘The Taliban also used this right and we achieved this right and we would express our gratitude to God.
‘We are not going to revenge anybody, we are not going to hold a grudge against anybody.
‘We know that there were a lot of mistakes that were made to the advantage of the occupiers. A huge occupation force has now been defeated.
‘We have pardoned all those who have fought against us. We want to do away with all the factors of the conflict.
‘Animosity has come to an end. We do not want any internal enemies and we do not want any external enemies.
‘Preparations are underway. We will be witnessing the formation of a strong Islamic and inclusive government.
‘As the forces of the Islamic Emirate entered Kabul, we have not had any casualities.
‘There have been some rioters who wanted to take advantage of this situation. However, security has now been ensured, day-by-day there will be more security.
‘The security of the embassies are of crucial importance to us. And we want to assure all foreign countries your embassies are safe.
‘Therefore, all foreign agencies, missions, aid agencies … we will not allow anybody to do anything against you, your safety is guaranteed.
‘We don’t want to see any kind of chaos. Our plan was to stop at the gates of Kabul after capturing all of the other provinces.
‘We were going to wait there for the completion of the peaceful transfer of power.
‘Unfortunately, the previous government was so incompetent, their security forces could not do anything, they could not ensure security. Rioters were ready to enter houses, to steal, to enter buildings. We had to enter Kabul to stop these abusers.
‘Residents should be assured that your security will be guaranteed.
‘When it comes to the current circumstances I would like to assure the foreign powers including the United States that you will not be harmed.
‘I want to commit to our neighbours, to the international community that you will not be harmed.
‘The Taliban are committed to the rights of women within the framework of Shariah law. In education, health and other sectors we are shoulder to shoulder with our sisters. Women will be very active in our society and will be able to work and study.
‘As soon as conflict is done away with in Afghanistan we are going to build the infrastructure of the country and use our natural resources. We can very quickly change the situation in the economy. Every Afghan wants to change the quality of their lives.
‘Private media can continue their media outlets. Islamic values must be taken into account when developing your programmes. Impartiality of the media is very important, they can critique our work so that we can improve.
‘The media should not work against our national values, our national unity, regional differences, religious differences. They should promote unity.’
Today in the UK, Parliament is recalled to discuss the Taliban’s taking of power.