In an interview with BBC, PM Khan stated that Afghan women are very strong and could, in time, assert their rights under the Taliban.
As the Taliban settle down as the official government of Afghanistan, they took several measures that left the world disappointed. One of them was their restrictions on Afghan women.
Recently, the Taliban excluded girls from secondary schools, allowing only boys and male teachers to return.
On this note, PM Khan said he believed that girls would soon be able to attend schools. He further said preventing women from acquiring education in Afghanistan is un-Islamic.
“The statements they made since they came to power are very encouraging,” he said. “I think they will allow women to go to schools. The idea that women should not be educated is just not Islamic. It has nothing to do with religion.”
PM Khan also repeatedly called on the international community to give the Taliban more time. “It’s just too early to say anything,” he said, adding that he expected Afghan women to eventually “assert their rights”.
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Upon giving the Taliban more time, the interviewer John Simpson then asked “how much time? A year?”
“A year, two years, three years,” PM Khan said. The response left John a bit shocked because three years seems to be a long time for women in Afghanistan to live with restrictions imposed by the Taliban.
PM Khan then clarified that it has only been a month and the Taliban are back after 20 years of war in Afghanistan. Currently, the biggest concern is the humanitarian crisis.
Civil war in Afghanistan?
Prime Minister Imran Khan also warned that Afghanistan could descend into civil war if the Taliban failed to form an inclusive government.
“If they do not include all the factions, sooner or later they will have a civil war,” he said in the interview. “That would mean an unstable, chaotic Afghanistan and an ideal place for terrorists. That is a worry,” he further added.
He also called for the Taliban to be inclusive and to respect human rights. He reminded the Taliban that Afghanistan should not be used to house terrorists who could threaten Pakistan’s security.
Afghan women left behind by the West, the alleged champion of women
PM Khan has always been a strong supporter of women and their rights. This was seen recently as Pakistan played a fantastic role in the evacuation of Afghans, especially women.
Since the Taliban banned Afghan women from taking part in sports, Afghan sportswomen fled the country. Players wrote to PM Khan to ask for permission to urgently enter Pakistan. As a result, thirty-two players and their families won visas after the charity “Football for Peace” lobbied Pakistan.
An official with Pakistan’s Football Federation said the group, totaling 81 people, would be housed at the federation’s headquarters in the eastern city of Lahore. The players will remain in Pakistan under tight security for 30 days before applying for asylum in third countries.
PM Khan’s swift response to Afghan women earned him the West’s respect. Even American radio host Glenn Beck appreciated PM Khan and said out of all the world leaders, only PM Khan responded swiftly.