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Taliban announces 'amnesty', urges women to join government


Taliban fighters take control of Afghan presidential palace after the Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled the country. (Photo | AP)

Kabul: The Taliban has announced Tuesday an amnesty across Afghanistan and urged women to join its government, reports Associated Press.

The report quoted the comments by Enamullah Samangani, a member of the Taliban's cultural commission which represent the first comments on governance from a federal level across the country after their blitz across the country.

Using the militants' term for Afghanistan, Samangani said that the Islamic Emirate doesn't want women to be victims. The women should be in government structure according to Shariah law, the report quoted Samangani saying

Adding that the structure of government is not fully clear he said that there should be a fully Islamic leadership and all sides should join.

Meanwhile Tuesday, Stefano Pontecorvo, NATO's senior civilian representative to Afghanistan, posted video showing the runway empty with American troops on the tarmac. What appeared to be a military cargo plane could be seen in the distance from behind a chain-link fence in the footage.

While there were no major reports of abuses or fighting in Kabul, many residents have stayed home and remain fearful after the insurgents' takeover saw prisons emptied and armories looted.

Older generations remember their ultraconservative Islamic views, which included stonings, amputations and public executions during their rule before the US-led invasion that followed the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks.

The runway is open, Pontecorvo wrote on Twitter. I see airplanes landing and taking off. Overnight, flight-tracking data showed a U.S. Marine Corps KC-130J Hercules plane at the airport and later taking off for Qatar, home to Al-Udeid Air Base and the US military Central Command's forward headquarters.

There were no other immediate flights seen in Afghan airspace, which has been taken over by the American military as commercial flights have been halted in the country.

Quoting the International Committee of the Red Cross, the AP report added that across Afghanistan, thousands had been wounded in the fighting. According to the report, Security forces and politicians handed over their provinces and bases without a fight, likely believing the two-decade Western experiment to remake Afghanistan would not survive the resurgent Taliban.

The last American troops had planned to withdraw at the end of the month.

The move of making its stance clear is apparently intended to calm nerves across a nervous capital city that only the day before saw chaos at its airport as people tried to flee their rule. One of the predictions about a possible Taliban regime projected by world media and Afghan watchers has been about denial of freedoms to, and repression of women together with enforcement of a strict Islamic criminal code. The latest statement evidently assuages such concerns and constitutes an opening up of communication lines from the Taliban.

While in fighting mode against the US-backed Afghan regime under Ashraf Ghani, the outfit's views and stances had largely been speculated rather than pronounced. And the playing field now changes with the Taliban leadership likely to take the driver's seat. In addition, the run-up to assuming power has given the Taliban a mellowed approach to wielding power.

(With inputs from AP)

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