The Taliban announced Tuesday they would grant “amnesty” across Afghanistan and wanted women to join their government in an attempt to portray a more moderate image after capturing the capital city of Kabul over the weekend.
The insurgents ruled with an iron fist last time they held power in Afghanistan from the late 1990s until 2001, leading some Afghans to view the supposed moderating shift with skepticism, according to the Associated Press (AP). Under the previous iteration of Taliban rule, women’s rights were extremely restricted and a harsh version of Islamic law was imposed, leading to public executions, amputations and other anachronistic law enforcement measures.
#UPDATES “A general amnesty has been declared for all … so you should start your routine life with full confidence,” says statement from the Taliban, two days after they took power following a lightning sweep through the country pic.twitter.com/knKDIjdCfm
— AFP News Agency (@AFP) August 17, 2021
Many Afghans have stayed home in fear rather than venture out since the Taliban stormed across the country and captured the capital in recent weeks, according to multiple reports from Kabul. The Islamic militants reportedly executed some members of the Afghan military, government and media during their offensive.
“The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan with full dignity and honesty has announced a complete amnesty for all Afghanistan, especially those who were with the opposition or supported the occupiers for years and recently,” said Taliban cultural commission member Enamullah Samangani. “The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan doesn’t want the women to be the victims anymore … The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan is ready to provide women with environment to work and study, and the presence of women in different (government) structures according to Islamic law and in accordance with our cultural values.”
Some have speculated that the moderation may be a ploy to garner more international aid and recognition. Only three countries recognized the Taliban government as legitimate during their previous rule of Afghanistan: Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Pakistan. By the time the regime was toppled by Western forces, only Pakistan still had official relations with the Taliban. (RELATED: US General Expects Terror Threats From The Taliban And Al-Qaida To Increase)
Germany suspended development aid to the country after the Taliban took power, Sweden has pledged to slow down aid and the United States is evacuating diplomatic personnel. The militants are still negotiating a formal handover of power with the now-ousted Afghan government, according to the AP.