Taliban hosts first press conference in Kabul

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid speaks at at his first news conference in Kabul, Afghanistan, Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2021. For years, Mujahid had been a shadowy figure issuing statements on behalf of the militants. On Tuesday he said they sought no revenge and that “everyone is forgiven.” (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)

The Taliban held their first official news conference in Kabul since the shock seizure of the city, declaring on Tuesday they wished for peaceful relations with other countries.

“We don’t want any internal or external enemies,” the movement’s main spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told reporters.

The Taliban in their first conference congratulated the Afghan people for being “emancipated” from 20 years of occupation, adding that “freedom and independence” was the legitimate right of every nation.

The Taliban spokesman has said the group sought no revenge and insisted that everyone had been pardoned by the Taliban, even if they worked with the former government or with foreign governments or forces.

“We assure you that nobody will go to their doors to ask why they helped,” he said.

Zabihullah Mujahid asserted that rights of women will be protected within the limits of Islamic law.

“The women are going to be very active in the society, but within the framework of Islam,” he said in response to a question from Al Jazeera’s correspondent.

“Women can work in the health sector and other sectors where they are needed…there will be no discrimination against them,” he said.

He has assured that no will be allowed to use Afghan territory for attacks against any nation.

“I would like to ensure I would like to assure the international community, including the United States, that nobody will be harmed,” he said at the group’s first press conference in Kabul.

“In Afghanistan, I would like to assure our neighbors, our original countries we are not going to allow our territory to be used against anybody or any country in the world. So the whole global community should be assured that we are committed to these pleasures that you will not be harmed.”

The Taliban say that the security of embassies in Kabul is of ‘crucial importance to them.

“We would like to assure all foreign countries that our forces are there to ensure the security of all embassies, missions, international organizations, and aid agencies,'” Mujahid said during the press conference.

The Taliban spokesperson says that they want all media outlets to continue their activities. He, however, suggested three things: No broadcast should contradict Islamic values, they should be impartial, no one should broadcast anything that goes against our national interests.