Afghanistan

Afghanistan: Taliban Responds To Fears Over Return To Brutal Rule

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said the insurgents sought no revenge and that "everyone is forgiven".

A Taliban spokesman has pledged to secure Afghanistan after the insurgents took over large parts of the country following a blitz that lasted over a week.

Zabihullah Mujahid made the comment at his first news conference.

For years, he has been a shadowy figure issuing statements on behalf of the militants.

He said the insurgents sought no revenge and that "everyone is forgiven".

Many Afghans have expressed fear that the Taliban will return the country to the brutal rule they used when last in charge, and foreign officials have said they will wait to see if the insurgents make good on their promises.

It was also pledged that women's rights would be honoured.

Watch: What next for Afghanistan?

The Taliban's previous regime had been renowned for its harsh treatment of women.

Mr Mujahid clarified that women's rights would be within Islamic law.

He said the Taliban wanted private media to "remain independent", but stressed journalists "should not work against national values".

Mr Mujahid also stressed that Afghanistan would not allow itself to harbour anyone targeting other nations.

That was a key demand in a deal the militants struck with the Trump administration in 2020 that led to the ultimate US withdrawal under current President Joe Biden.

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