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We need their [Afghan] talent: Zabihullah Mujahid’s second press conference

Zabihullah Mujahid, in Taliban's second press conference after Kabul's fall claimed that Afghan people's talent is vital for the country's progress and that the foreign forces should leave the country by Aug 31st as pledged.

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Zabihullah Mujahid, the Taliban’s spokesperson holds a second press conference on Tuesday, 24th August after the group seized Afghan capital. He sheds lights on on the latest situation in Afghanistan and assured security amid chaos in Kabul. He expressed the Taliban’s quest to initiate work on political settlement in Afghanistan.

He claimed that there will be general amnesty for Afghan people allying with the US, there will be an “inclusive political settlement”, women rights will be respected according to Sharia law, security situation will be ensured and nationals will not be allowed to go to Kabul airport. He added that we want Afghan people to stay as we need their talent to run the country.

He also assured the international community that Afghanistan would not be used to carry out attacks on foreign countries.

When asked about Turkey, Mujahid said that, “We want good relations with Turkey.”

He said however that the previous government was “weak and failed to keep their promises”.

Read more: The reclaiming of Kabul by the Taliban

Afghan nationals not allowed to go to airport

Afghans are “no longer allowed to go to Kabul airport,” Mujahid said because of the chaotic situation there. He added at the news conference that crowds at the airport should go home and their security would be guaranteed. But he said the US had kept on inviting people to the airport to board planes.

“We ask the Americans, don’t encourage Afghans to leave… We need their talent,” he said.

Read more: CIA Director Burns secret meeting with Baradar at Kabul; an event tinged with irony

Aug. 31st deadline will not be extended

Spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said he does not think that the 31 August deadline for evacuations from Kabul will be extended. Thus, the US and foreign forces should leave the country within the deadline and there would be “consequences” if the United States and its allies try to remain in Afghanistan beyond next week. There is enough time to get foreign nationals out before the deadline and “there are total security measures for the diplomats to depart the country”.

Afghan nationals should contribute towards the country’s progress

Also, he added that Taliban are “not in favour” of allowing Afghans to leave. Instead” they should live in their country and engage in the working towards Afghanistan development and progress. He reassured Kabul residents that their security is intact.

He added that the Taliban has declared a general amnesty to prevent further fighting and that “we have given amnesty to everybody, there is no revenge.” He said “no one will go after” Afghans who worked with the US, “there is no danger for them”.

Read more: Taliban start building infrastructure destroyed during 20y war

Media is free to operate but within Islamic bounds

He added that Afghan media outlets were now working again, as were hospitals, schools, university and local government.

Mujahid stated that all media outlets including National Radio Television have resumed their activities “without any fear or hesitation.” However, the media may not publish or broadcast anything that contradicts Islamic values; they need to be impartial; and no one may publish or broadcast anything that goes against national interests.

Women not permanently prevented from work

The Taliban spokesperson suggests that women will not be permanently prevented from going to work, saying: “It’s currently for their benefit to prevent any ill-treatment.” He said women should stay at home for now, claiming they have not been removed from their jobs and their salaries will be paid.

He stated that women rights will be respected in accordance with Sharia law. Also, women form part of society and should therefore work where they were needed.

Read more: Taliban pledge accountability, strive to present a moderate face 

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