Taliban claim they will allow women to study and work, but Afghans still remember the public stonings and floggings

Taliban fighters inside the Presidential Palace in Kabul(Image Source: AFP)

Days after effectively taking control of Afghanistan, terror outfit Taliban declared an “amnesty” across the country and urged women to return to work, in a bid to reassure the wary population fretting over their fate under the Talibani regime.

Panic and fear had swept across the country after the fall of Kabul on Sunday, following which a multitude of city residents flocked to the airport, in a desperate attempt to fly out of the country.

“A general amnesty has been declared for all…so you should start your routine life with full confidence,” a statement issued by the Taliban said.

Enamullah Samangani, a member of the Taliban’s cultural commission, tried to allay fear among Afghan residents by asserting that the Islamic Emirate, the Taliban’s term for Afghanistan, doesn’t want women to be victims. “They should be in the government structure according to Shariah law,” he said.

The Taliban has reportedly said that women were the main victims of the crisis in Afghanistan for over 40 years and they dont want the women to be victims anymore. Samangani said that the Taliban wants to provide women with the environment to work and study, and even join the government “as per Islamic law and our cultural values”.

Speaking on the structure of the government, Samangani said, “It is not entirely clear yet, but based on experience, there should be a fully Islamic leadership and all sides should join.”

Samangani did not elaborate on the Islamic laws that people had to abide by, giving a hint that he assumed that people knew about the rules already and the Taliban’s expectations from them.

“People in this country are Muslim and we are not here to foist Islam on them,” Samangani said.

Notwithstanding Samangani’s assertions, many people remain sceptical about what the Taliban meant by amnesty and if it could be trusted to honour its promise. However, many Taliban leaders echoed Samangani’s assertions, saying that they won’t seek revenge against those who worked with the Afghan government or foreign countries.

Nevertheless, some in Kabul remain suspicious of the assurances made by the Taliban, alleging that the terror outfit has prepared a list of people who cooperated with the government and are seeking them out.

The Taliban made a lightning sweep across the country, swallowing one city after another as it intensified its bid to regain control of Afghanistan, raising alarm among the population of the prospect of regressing back to the repressive regime that defined the rule of Taliban in the late 90s.

However, ever since the Taliban commenced its offensive to recapture Afghanistan, it has sought to project greater moderation in its rule, something that is in stark contrast to its ham-handed rule from 1996 to 2001.

Back then, women were proscribed from attending school or working outside their homes, in conformity with Sharia Islamic law. Besides, they were also mandated to wear fully covered overgarments called chadaree and be chaperoned by a male relative whenever they went outside. The Taliban had also placed a ban on music and imposed severe punishments on those who violated the Sharia law, such as chopping off the hands of thieves, lashing women in public and stoning people over the allegations of adultry.

OpIndia Staff: Staff reporter at OpIndia