For practically twenty years, Zabihullah Mujahid was the voice of the Taliban, however solely on Tuesday did the world get its first have a look at his face, when he appeared earlier than reporters in a jam-packed Kabul briefing room to debate what the insurgents plan to do with their newly received nation.
Mr. Mujahid appeared at pains to strike a conciliatory tone, repeating earlier Taliban assurances that they deliberate no vendetta towards those that had opposed them in Afghanistan, even those that had labored with the American and NATO navy forces.
The information convention was held days after the insurgents had marched into Kabul, the capital, and as Afghans — and the world — braced to see in the event that they deliberate a brutal reprise of their earlier years in energy. With Western powers and Afghans who helped them throughout the USA’ 20-year warfare towards the Taliban racing to get in a foreign country, the insurgents have been making an attempt to recast themselves in a much less menacing gentle.
Pressed by reporters Tuesday about what would occur subsequent, Mr. Mujahid shied away from element, saying “critical talks” have been now underway concerning the form of a brand new authorities.
“Give us time,” Mr. Mujahid requested.
He additionally provided assurances to Afghanistan’s girls, who have been brutally repressed the final time the Taliban managed the nation, earlier than the group was toppled by U.S. forces in 2001.
“We guarantee that there will probably be no violence towards girls,” he stated, “no prejudice towards girls will probably be allowed, however the Islamic values are our framework.”
Once more, the language was imprecise. Ladies, Mr. Mujahid stated, will probably be lively in society, allowed to work and examine — however towards repeated “inside the bounds of Islamic legislation.”
However already there have been studies of ladies being ordered out of their workplaces and instructed to completely cowl when out in public.
The information convention Slot Gacor was held in the identical room that the Afghan authorities as soon as used to temporary the media. As Mr. Mujahid took his seat in entrance of a roomful of reporters, the setting appeared equivalent. The identical microphones, the identical furnishings, the identical drapes. Solely the flag was totally different; the white flag of the Taliban had changed the Afghan one.
In fact, the person doing the speaking had additionally modified.
“We wish a powerful Islamic system,” Mr. Mujahid stated.
However even on the query of whether or not they need the return of the Islamic Emirate — that’s what their oppressive system was known as within the Nineteen Nineties — Mr. Mujahid was noncommittal. What the form off the federal government will probably be, and what it’s to be known as, will probably be determined in ongoing discussions, he stated.
Mr. Mujahid was requested concerning the Taliban’s lengthy marketing campaign of bombings, which took untold civilian lives.
“Do you assume the individuals of Afghanistan will forgive you?” one Afghan reporter requested.
The Taliban spokesman stated it had been a time of warfare — “our households additionally suffered,” he stated — however allowed that the civilian deaths have been “unlucky.”
Mr. Mujahid was additionally requested concerning the man who had sat in his very seat solely per week in the past, a authorities spokesman assassinated by the Taliban.
He provided the identical reply: It was warfare.