Interview with Associated Press
The Taliban Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi was in an interview with Associated Press in Ankara, Turkey where he spoke at length on the efforts in international relations, good governance and denied accusations of executions in Afghanistan.
August 15, 2021; the Taliban took over the control of Kabul; Afghanistan’s seat of power. They first came into power in 1996 and held on to power till 2001 when they were dethroned by the United States Military after the September 11, 2001 attack on the USA.
Taliban’s First Regime
During their first rule from 1996 to 2001, the Taliban and their allies did public executions; According to the United Nations; they are responsible for 76% of Afghan Civilian death in 2010, and 80% in 2011 and 2012.
They starved over 160,000 civilians and blocked food supplies from the UN. The burnt vast areas of fertile land, burned homes, banned media, movies, photography, paintings, music using instruments, girls and young women could not go to school nor work in jobs, women must wear the burqa at all times and be accompanied by a man when in public.
Male doctors were prohibited from treating women, women were publicly beaten or executed whenever they broke certain rules. There was discrimination against other religions and ethnic minorities, they destroyed lots of United Nations Heritage sites like the famous 1500- year old Buddha’s of Bamiyan. Their rule was characterized by terror.
When the Taliban seized the government on August 15, 2021; the US froze around $10 billion of Afghan Assets in US banks.
Please Unfreeze our Funds
During the Interview with Associated Press, the Taliban Foreign Minister appealed to the US Government to please unfreeze Afghan funds in US Banks and all over the world.
Meanwhile, the press secretary, Jen Psaki at a White House briefing on Monday, said she did not foresee an early change; saying there are legal proceedings that have led to a temporary suspension of any movement of funds till the end of the year and possibly beyond. She mentioned that even if money will be released, Washington will make sure it does not benefit the Taliban.
America is a Great Nation
In the same interview, the Taliban Foreign Minister called America a great Nation. He said
“To the American nation: You are a great and big nation, and you must have enough patience and have a big heart to dare to make policies on Afghanistan based on international rules and relegation and to end the differences and make the distance between us shorter and choose good relations with Afghanistan,”
We Gave General Amnesty
Taliban made the news recently of being engaged in summary killings where military personnel s of the former government though pardoned were asked to fill a form and after their information was taken; some got killed, some disappeared and a lot are living in hidings as we speak. The, US, EU, and 20 nations condemn the Taliban over these killings.
The Taliban Foreign Minister said in response to that…He claimed the Taliban have not targeted their opponents, that leaders of the previous government live in Kabul without fear. And they have given a general amnesty and provided some protection.
Girls Can go to School
Since the Taliban took over the Afghan government in August, Girls and young ladies have stopped going to school, and women are asked to stay at home. For this the Taliban Foreign Minister Muttaqi said that under the new Taliban government, girls are going to school through grade 12 in 10 of the country’s 34 provinces, private schools and universities are operating unhindered, and 100% of women who had previously worked in the health sector are back on the job.
We have made Progress
As regards international relations; he said “We have made progress in administration and politics … in interaction with the nation and the world. With each passing day, we will gain more experience and make more progress,”.
Will the Taliban government lead the Afghans better this time than in the last administration? Considering that whenever they are in the news, someone has died or someone’s rights have been denied.
“America will slowly, slowly change its policy toward Afghanistan.” The Taliban Foreign Minister said. I hope not just America, but the world and most importantly, the people of Afghanistan will change their minds about the Taliban government.