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Taliban spokesman: We want to see women in government

The statement by Enamullah Samanghani, a member of the Taliban’s cultural committee, is the first comment on what the Taliban regime might look like. The group is negotiating with representatives from the country’s collapsed government, but no formal agreement has been announced.

The Islamic Emirate (Taliban name for Afghanistan, editor’s note) does not want women to be victims. According to the Associated Press, they must be in government according to Sharia law.

The statement should be viewed in light of the Taliban’s strict interpretation of Sharia, which means, among other things, that women should not stay in public or seek attention and avoid contact with men.

All-Islamic leadership.

When the Taliban came to power in the 1990s, women were largely confined to their homes. But it now appears that the movement wants to convey a different picture. A TV reporter from Tolo News was recently allowed to interview a Taliban member, and the movement rejected reports that women were being denied entry to a university in Herat city.

Semanghani states that the structure of the government is not yet fully clear, but that it will be an “entirely Islamic leadership.” He says the people of Afghanistan already know the wording of Sharia and understand that the Taliban expect to be obeyed.

Our people are Muslims. We are not here to force them to convert to Islam, says Samangani, according to the Associated Press.

What Enamullah Samangani means by pardon is not entirely clear, but other Taliban have said they will not attack people who previously worked for the government or other countries. At the same time, there is information about the list of people to look for due to past collaborations, according to the Associated Press.

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The expert said: The Taliban want to send signals

The statement is a clearly symbolic stance, according to Cecilia Hal Weklund, director of the Afghanistan Assistance Project at Folke Bernadotte Academy.

– The Taliban want to send signals to reduce fear and openness to diplomatic dialogue.

The goal may be for the outside world to begin negotiating with the group and recognizing its state. At the same time, the movement wants to prevent women and activists from fleeing to keep as many people as possible in Afghanistan, Hal Weklund said.