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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

Sep 18, 2021 - World

Taliban exclude Afghan teen girls from attending school

Afghan female students attend a class in Herat on Aug. 22, 2020. Photo: Hoshang Hashimi/AFP via Getty Images.

The Taliban reopened Afghan secondary schools on Saturday for only boys, effectively banning teen girls from receiving a formal education, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Why it matters: The move raises new fears that the Taliban will break public promises and impose severe restrictions on women's rights similar to those implemented in the 1990s.

28 U.S. citizens depart Afghanistan on Qatar Airways flight

Passengers board a Qatar Airways aircraft bound to Qatar at the airport in Kabul on September 10, 2021. Photo: Aamir Qureshi/AFP via Getty Images

The State Department on Saturday confirmed that a Qatar Airways charter flight left Kabul on Friday with 28 U.S. citizens and seven lawful permanent residents on board.

The big picture: Friday's flight is the third such airlift by Qatar Airways since the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, AP reports.

Biden claims "era of relentless war" is over in first UN speech

Photo: Eduardo Munoz/PoolL/AFP via Getty Images

Addressing the UN General Assembly for the first time since taking office, President Biden laid out his vision for how the U.S. will confront what he characterized as a "decisive" next decade in human history.

Why it matters: In the face of unprecedented global challenges — the pandemic, climate change, rising authoritarianism — Biden made a case for multilateralism, democratic values, the rule of law and empathy for common struggles.

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