Taliban’s First News Conference Transcript in Kabul

In the first press conference following the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan, a Taliban spokesperson addresses the audience.

Following the Taliban’s conquest of Afghanistan, the group held its first official news conference in Kabul, declaring its desire for friendly relations with foreign nations.

As part of a media blitz aimed at convincing foreign powers and a scared population that the Taliban have reformed, Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid claimed Tuesday that the Taliban will respect women’s rights, forgive those who opposed them, and ensure a secure Afghanistan.

The organization had previously declared a “amnesty” across Afghanistan and asked women to join its administration, in an attempt to calm anxieties in a tense capital city where hundreds had flocked to the city’s international airport in a desperate attempt to flee the day before.

The following is the transcript:

“We have expelled the foreigners and I would like to congratulate the whole nation on this.

This is a source of pride for a large number of people. This is a moment of national pride for the entire country. When it is possible to acquire this level of pride, it is quite unusual. After the nation’s entire history, I’d like to congratulate and welcome you to the country.

Every country has the right to seek freedom and independence. After 20 years of battle for freedom and emancipation from occupation, the Afghans have likewise exercised their lawful right. This was our right, and we have exercised it.

And we’d like to thank the Almighty God for bringing us to this point. I’d like to express my gratitude to God for granting this country its independence. After the nation’s emancipation, the Islamic Emirate will not seek retribution against anyone; we have no grudges against anyone.

Image Source: Al Jazeera

We are well aware that we have been through extremely trying times and crises, with several errors that benefited the occupiers. We want to make certain that Afghanistan is no longer a combat zone or a battleground.

We have forgiven everyone who has fought against us. We don’t want to go through another conflict. We seek to eliminate the sources of conflict. As a result, there is no hatred or animosity between the Islamic Emirate and anyone else; animosities have ended, and we would like to live in peace. We don’t wish to have any internal or foreign opponents.

Without a question, we are at a pivotal point in history. I would like to reassure our countrymen and women who have been waiting that, following the completion of consultations, we will witness the establishment of a strong Islamic and inclusive government, Inshallah, God willing. We have not suffered any losses as the Islamic Emirate’s armies enter Kabul in this historic development. Some rioters tried to take advantage of the situation by abusing it, and this was brought to our knowledge.We realized what was going on, but we want to reassure the residents of Kabul that they will be fully protected, with their dignity, security, and safety guaranteed.

The safety of the people has been guaranteed. Day by day, God willing, there will be more security. After assuring security, embassies are established in Afghanistan, particularly in Kabul. The security of embassies is critical, and it is critical for us.

First and foremost, we want to tell you that the regions where embassies are located will be completely secure. As a result, I would like to tell all foreign countries and their officials, embassies, missions, international organizations, and aid agencies that we will not allow anyone to act against you. Your safety is guaranteed. Without a doubt, our soldiers are present 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to ensure your safety.We don’t want to see any unrest or inconvenient situations in Kabul. Our objective was to stop at the gates of Kabul after seizing all other provinces, so that the transfer process could be completed without us entering Kabul, and so that we could avoid any problems, hurts, or damages.

But, unfortunately, the previous administration was so inept. As a result of what they’ve done. Their security forces were unable to provide adequate security, and we must act and assume responsibility. As a result, the abusers and rioters were the reason. They planned to defame the Islamic Emirate by breaking into homes, harassing people, and stealing. As a result, we ordered our soldiers to enter Kabul in order to put an end to all of this and ensure security.

So we had to invade Kabul to stop those crooks and abusers, in order to ensure the people’s safety and security, as well as Kabul’s resilience. As a result, the people should have confidence in your security.

Similarly, when it comes to the kinds of conditions I’d like to see in Afghanistan, I’d like to reassure the world community, including the United States, that no one will be hurt. I’d like to reassure our regional neighbors that we would not allow our land to be used against anyone, anywhere in the globe. As a result, the entire worldwide community may rest certain that we will keep our promises and that you will not be damaged in any manner as a result of your visit to our country.

Image Source: Worlddakkam.com

We’d like to ask the world community to recognize international boundaries and interactions as well. We should be treated as such. According to this framework, we do not want to have any issues with the international community; instead, we want to act on the basis of our religious and cultural ideals, for which we have made numerous sacrifices. We have the right to act in accordance with our religious ideas and norms; it is an Afghan right.

Other countries have their own set of rules, policies, opinions, approaches, and policies, as well as their own set of rules and regulations. Similarly, Afghans have the right to have their own laws, regulations, and policies in order to benefit from the nation’s profit, as long as they are in accordance with our beliefs, and no one should be concerned about our norms and principles.

Women’s issues are extremely important. Within the framework of Sharia, the Islamic Emirate is committed to women’s rights. Our brothers and sisters have the same rights, and they will be able to exercise them. On the basis of our rules and regulations, they can engage in activities in a variety of sectors and areas, including education, health, and other areas. They’re going to work alongside us, shoulder to shoulder.If the international community is concerned, we want to reassure them that there will be no discrimination against women, but only within the boundaries that we have in place. Our female members are Muslim. They will also be content to live inside our Sharia-compliant systems.

We intend to begin building economic infrastructure as soon as the situation in Afghanistan is resolved. In order to do this, we will engage in economic activity. Interactions with other countries and the international community will continue. We will be focusing on our natural resources and resources in order to revitalize our economy, rebuild our infrastructure, and increase our wealth.

As a result, the Islamic Emirate is appealing to the entire international community to pray that, God willing, we will be able to transform the situation, and the country’s economic status, very soon.

Every Afghan wishes to better his or her situation. As a result, the entire community, the entire society, will be involved in commerce and economy, and we are devoted to ensuring security first, then building our society and serving our country. We are the nation’s servants. Prior to that, the nation’s advantage, both in this world and in the next.

I’d like to reassure the media once more that we are devoted to media within our cultural parameters. Private media can remain free and independent, and they can continue to operate — albeit with some restrictions.

The first is that Islam is a very essential value in our country, and nothing should be done to undermine it. Therefore, when it comes to media activities and producing your programs, Islamic ideals should be considered. As a result, the media must be objective. The importance of media impartiality cannot be overstated. They can provide feedback on our work, allowing us to improve.

So you, young journalists, should pay attention to the [inaudible] so that we can better serve the nation. In the same way, you should wish to work accordingly. It is critical that Afghans place a high priority on their national values, national unity, and national consensus. The media should not be used to undermine national values and togetherness. When it comes to ethnic divisions, religious differences, and hostility, the media should not promote them; instead, they should fight for the country’s unity and peaceful brotherly coexistence.

I’d want to thank each and every one of you for coming to our press conference. As a result, the names will be read out. I’ve come to help you. There will be further press conferences. As a result, we may have less time today than in the future. I recently returned from a trip. I’m just checking to make sure you won’t be waiting for me. As a result, we’ll have plenty of time to talk in the future. The questions will be asked right now. I’ll respond to all of your queries.

Image Source: CFTN

Al Jazeera is the source of the first inquiry. Everyone will have the opportunity to ask questions. Al Jazeera’s Charlotte Bellis. The topic of discussion was women’s rights. The concern is what kind of assurance will be provided to ensure that women’s rights are protected.

As I have stated, we will enable women to work and study within limited parameters. Women will play an important role in society, but only within the confines of Islam. Women are an important component of society, and we protect all of their rights within the confines of Islam.

The issue at hand was interpreters and interpreter security. I’ve done work for both the Americans and the contractors. I’m afraid I won’t be able to hear the queries from the press.

I would like to reassure all of my compatriots, whether they were interpreters, military personnel, or citizens, that they have all played a crucial role. Nobody will be handled with vengeance. We don’t want the youth who have talents, who have grown up here, who are from this country, to go. These are our assets, and we want them to stay and serve us.

Nobody will come knocking on their door to examine them, ask them questions, or interrogate them about who they have been working for or interpreting for. As a result, I’d want to reassure you that no harm will be done. They’ll be in good hands.

We currently have no information about the contractor who was alleged to have gone missing by the media.

Nobody will come knocking on their door to examine them, ask them questions, or interrogate them about who they have been working for or interpreting for. As a result, I’d want to reassure you that no harm will be done. They’ll be in good hands.

We currently have no information about the contractor who was alleged to have gone missing by the media.

I want to promise you that no one will harm you in your houses, that no one will come knocking on your door, that no one will be interrogated or chased… Abusers are those who have knocked on people’s doors to inspect their homes; they will be pursued and investigated.

Thousands of soldiers who fought us for 20 years have been pardoned following the occupation. If those with families waiting at the airport return home, no one will harm them; they will be safe. We give them confidence because no one will inspect them there.

[Question about the Taliban’s campaign of bombings – ‘Do you think the people of Afghanistan will forgive you?’]

We have fought for everybody and this is for the benefit of stability and peace in Afghanistan. All factions are fathers from A to Z.

God forbid, we haven’t done anything intentional against anybody. If during the war and conflict somebody has been harmed unintentionally then, this is one of the side effects of conflict for 20 years. A huge occupying force was defeated. This way it was impossible for us to free the country, and demand the country without injuries, without injuries, without harms, without being hurt. You know that some people have even committed suicide. Unwittingly, somebody does something like that. If somebody has been harmed as a result of these activities, these are, of course, understandable. They are side effects of war. But I would like to assure you, I’d like to guarantee that no harm inflicted on the nation has been intentional – they have been the side effects of war that have been technical problems, and other unfortunate side effects and incidents.

Next question. You know that the political situation changed in the city: robberies, and crimes started to emerge but we have to take actions to stop them. Within a short period of  time we managed to do so; we wanted to; we had to stop the instability. So, they have to be controlled. So, we have to come up with a set of actions with the different regions of the city. We will bring back complete normalcy and stability … for Afghanistan, we’ll never abuse any assets. Those for example, that are armed, they have to be disarmed.

I should be reminded that emancipating the country was a great, noble cause, to get rid of the occupiers, without which we could not form our government. So negotiations were taking place for 18 months, we had a strong team in Qatar. But then it was sabotaged. Some warmongers sabotaged it. This previous government actually announced a six-month plan for war against us, so for another six months, we were going to witness killings of our children, of our compatriots.

Our struggle was to form the Islamic government. Anyway, our fighters, our people who were involved in this struggle, we are all going to make sure that we can include all other sides and factions from all segments of the society. That’s been a struggle for those whose lives have been lost as a result of fighting for the enemy. This was their own fault. You could see that we managed to control the whole country in a matter of days, but we’re not arrogant for this.

We have instructed everyone not to enter anybody’s house, whether they’re civilians or military. There’s a huge difference between us and the previous government. When we form the government, when everybody sees their position, their place, then you will see. The kind of situations … is a kind of military situation. After formation of the government, everything will be more clear.

[Question on whether the Taliban have changed ]

This question is based on ideology and value systems. Our nation is a Muslim nation, whether it was 20 years ago, or whether it was now. But when it comes to experience and maturity and vision, of course, there’s a huge difference between us, in comparison to 20 years ago. There will be a difference when it comes to the actions we’re going to take, this has been like a evolutionary complimentary sort of process.

[Question]

Let’s talk about the law after the government is formed. They’re going to decide what kind of laws are going to be presented to the nation. This will be the due responsibility of the future governments, with the participation of all people. One thing to say – we are seriously now working on forming the government. I would like to assure you, it will be announced.

[Question]

We have all the borders under our control. There is not going to be any case of smuggling of weapons. All the weapons that are being used in fighting are going to be corrected and completed and registered. Contact consultations are being carried out soon, you will be aware of it soon.

[Question]

This question should be asked to those people who are claiming to be promoters of freedom of speech. Do not allow publication of all information, news, I can ask Facebook company. This question should be asked to them.

Let’s give some more time to the international media. When it comes to your first question, we have captured for the last three days in any province, there hasn’t been any case of murder, there is full security across the country. Our poet has been kidnapped – we are going to follow up with this – our poets, our talented people should not be harmed, this should be stopped. The current situation is like, resembles a martial law kind of situation. It will soon come back to normal. No one will be able to kidnap anyone.

Compare now to last week, for example; there’s a huge difference. Nobody’s losing their life anymore. We are going to have more and more security, day by day. Those who have left the country – we don’t want anybody to be out of the country. This is the country, this is our common homeland, we have common values, common religion and common nation. We would like to come under the umbrella of these commonalities. We have undergone these problems and difficulties within this public amnesty, general amnesty, so no animosity is going to be followed up.

[Question about heroin production in the country]

We are assuring our countrymen and women and the international community, we will not have produce any narcotics. In 2001, if you remember, we had brought narcotics content production to zero in 2001, but our country was unfortunately occupied by then and the way was paved for reproduction of narcotics even at the level of the government – everybody was involved.

But from now on, nobody’s going to get involved, nobody can be involved in drug smuggling. Today, when we entered Kabul, we saw a large number of our youth who was sitting under the bridges or next to the walls and they were using narcotics. This was so unfortunate. I got saddened to see these young people without any faith in the future. From now on, Afghanistan will be a narcotics-free country but it needs international assistance. The international community should help us so that we can have alternative crops. We can provide alternative crops. Then, of course, very soon, we can bring it to an end.

I should mention that Afghanistan will have a strong Islamic government. What the name is going to be, what the specifications are going to be, let’s leave it to the political leaders. They are now conducting serious consultations in this regard, but we can assure you that it will be an Islamic and a strong government on the basis of our values and will not be against the values and benefits of our our people.

We will do our most to make sure that everybody is included in the country, even those people against us in the past, so we are going to wait until those announcements are made. Government agencies will be able to start working again very soon. When it comes to women, of course, they will be able to work within the frameworks of our Islamic laws for example in education, in health, in prosecution. Of course, women are needed, they are going to be able be working.

[Question]

Foreign fighters, one point that Afghanistan soil is not meant to be used against anybody. I should assure the international community, anyone who means to use our land against other countries, we are not going to allow them at all. The government is being formed. The problems are being resolved, our leaders are involved. We are going to announce everything in the next few days, such as that the situation is under control now for a better government.

The first question about foreign fighters, is that we will not allow any foreigners who wish to harm or threaten the security of the country’s space in Afghanistan. And we have assured this. As for your second question, as for the government setup, we are still working on it. It will be in stages.

Question: Can women continue to work for the media in the same way as in the past?

Just wait and see what the future government is going to say. Our laws, when it comes to media and other essentials are going to be such that everybody should be able to work but within the framework of the Islamic Sharia laws, because currently we can’t actually present you with everything clearly. Just wait for the government, for the laws to be promulgated, and then we will of course be able to observe those laws and regulations.

[Question]

The question is whether you’re in touch with Dr Abdullah, Hekmatyar and Hamid Karzai. Let’s just say, that very soon we will be witnessing the formation of the government, announcing the government. We will do our most to make sure that we are in touch with all sides, with Dr Abdullah, with others, we have been communicating with them. We’re continuing our communication with them we will do our most to make sure that all Afghans are included. Nobody should be left out, or any anybody with interests to serve the nation, they’re not going to be ignored. So the future government will be inclusive. As to when our leader is going to enter the country, enter Kabul, I should mention that very soon. The decision will be made. The government will be announced and all problems will be solved.

[Question]
We should wait a little bit more, because it’s like an emergency at the moment, we will make sure that everybody’s included, and we’ll have a proper and healthy government.

[Question]
The question is about the relations with the rest of the world, because as I mentioned before, Afghanistan wants to have very good relations with everybody. In order to revive our economy, in order to ensure prosperity, in order to come out of this current crisis that calls for having really good relations with neighbouring countries, with other countries, we are doing our best to make sure that we are communicating with neighbouring countries within the framework of international diplomatic frameworks and on the basis of good neighbourly agreements and mutual respect.

Thank you so much for coming here. We don’t have enough time, unfortunately, thank you so much for coming. Have a good day.”

Source: AL JAZEERA

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