Taliban Leader Refuses to Commit to Including Women and Minorities in Government.
Afghanistan’s new foreign minister, who is part of the Taliban’s Cabinet, has declined to declare whether the Taliban will allow women and minorities to participate in the new administration.
Amir Khan Muttaqi was asked whether women and minorities would be included in the permanent government during a press conference on Tuesday, the first since the Taliban announced a new interim government.
“We will decide when the time comes,” Muttaqi stated, but he did not commit.
He stressed that the current government is temporary and that when a permanent government is formed, “we will take into account what the people want,” but he did not provide a timeline for its formation.
“We’re taking it one step at a time. He added, “We haven’t specified how long this Cabinet will last.”
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The press conference comes as nations across the globe — and many Afghans at home — look for clues as to how it plans to administer Afghanistan after ousting the US-backed government and capturing control of Kabul a month ago.
The United States and its allies have urged the Taliban not to replicate its harsh reign in the 1990s, when it monopolized power and imposed its stringent interpretation of Islamic law, which included severe restrictions on women and minorities.
Muttaqi provided no indication that the Taliban will budge in the face of Western pressure.
He emphasized on foreign countries not interfering in Afghanistan’s domestic affairs on several occasions, notably in answer to a question about whether elections would be held at some point.
Muttaqi, a longstanding Taliban negotiator, was the first member of the new government to confirm the government’s adherence to the Taliban-US pact struck last year, which paved the path for the US pullout from Afghanistan. The Taliban agreed to sever relations with al-Qaida and other militant groups and ensure that they do not pose a threat to other countries from their area as part of the agreement.
“No one or any party will be allowed to exploit our soil against any other country,” he stated.
The Taliban protected al-Qaida and its leader, Osama bin Laden, during their control in the 1990s. Following the September 11, 2001 terror attacks in the United States, the Taliban refused to hand them over, prompting the United States to begin an assault on Afghanistan, resulting in the Taliban’s ouster and the subsequent conflict. This is a condensed version of the information.