WASHINGTON – U.S. military evacuation flights resumed from Afghanistan Tuesday as the Taliban held their first press conference since taking power by declaring “amnesty” for government officials and vowing to uphold women’s rights under Islamic law.
The statements are a dramatic departure from when the Taliban fundamentalist group last held power before the U.S.-led invasion in 2001. Women virtually had no rights under Taliban’s oppressive rule. Most women were forced to quit their jobs and stay at home and lost access to education and health care, enduring high rates of both illiteracy and maternal mortality.
Zabihullah Mujahid, a spokesman for the Taliban, said they were working to form a government and vowed that “nobody will be harmed.”
‘No possible life’ under Taliban rule:Afghan women fear murder, oppression after US withdrawal
Their aim, he said, is to make sure “Afghanistan is no longer a battlefield of conflict.”
“We have pardoned all those who have fought against us. Animosities have come to an end,” he said. “We do not want to have any problems with the international community.”
However, interpreters, drivers and others who helped U.S. and NATO forces fear the Taliban will “slaughter” them, viewing them as traitors.
Mujahid also said the militant group is “committed to the rights of women under the system of sharia (Islamic) law,” but emphasized they could work and study “within our…