Aug 17, 2021 - World

Taliban declare "amnesty" and call on women to join new government

 Taliban fighters stand guard along a roadside near the Zanbaq Square in Kabul on August 16

Taliban fighters stand guard along a roadside near the Zanbaq Square in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Monday. Photo: Wakil Kohsar/AFP via Getty Images

The Taliban declared an "amnesty" and called on women to join their new government on Tuesday, as the militant group marked the first day of what it's calling the "Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan."

Why it matters: The remarks by Enamullah Samangani, a member of the Taliban's cultural commission, mark "the first comments on governance from a federal level" since the Taliban returned to power, AP notes.

  • The Taliban was known for publicly executing women, normally on grounds of alleged adultery, in Kabul's main soccer stadium when it was last in power in Afghanistan in the 1990s. Usually, the women were either stoned or shot to death at close range.
  • Annie Pforzheimer, deputy chief of mission at the embassy in Kabul from 2017-18, told Axios' Dave Lawler that Afghan women and girls, who've had access to freedoms including education and employment for the past 20 years, would likely see restrictions reimposed on them by the Taliban.

What they're saying: "The Islamic Emirate doesn’t want women to be victims," Samangani said, per AP.

  • "They should be in government structure according to Shariah law. The structure of government is not fully clear, but based on experience, there should be a fully Islamic leadership and all sides should join."

The bottom line, per Pforzheimer: There "should be absolutely no illusion" that the Taliban has changed.

Go deeper: Female mayor in Afghanistan says she is waiting for Taliban to come and kill her

Go deeper