Peace in Afghanistan, won’t harm anyone. What have Taliban said so far
The Taliban have declared the war in Afghanistan over and on Monday the group’s fighters were seen all over Kabul, including in the formerly heavily fortified district of Green Zone, even as they sought to assure Afghans and other countries alike that they mean no harm. On Sunday, they seized Kabul in just over a week and entered the presidential palace as President Ashraf Ghani fled from the country, saying he wanted to avoid bloodshed.
Thousands of Afghans mobbed Kabul's international airport in a desperate attempt to flee the country. Several videos circulating on social media showed hundreds of people jostling at the tarmac as US soldiers fired warning shots in the air. All commercial flights have been cancelled at Kabul airport Monday. Reuters reported at least five people have been killed at the airport.
Here’s what the Taliban have said so far:
1. "The situation is peaceful, as per our reports," one of the senior members of the Taliban, who did not identify themselves, told Reuters.
2. “Today is a great day for the Afghan people and the mujahideen. They have witnessed the fruits of their efforts and their sacrifices for 20 years. Thanks to God, the war is over in the country,” Mohammad Naeem, the spokesman for the Taliban's political office, told Al Jazeera TV.
3. Naeem said the Taliban did not want to live in isolation and calling for peaceful international relations and that the form of the new regime in Afghanistan would be made clear soon.
4. “We have reached what we were seeking, which is the freedom of our country and the independence of our people. We will not allow anyone to use our lands to target anyone, and we do not want to harm others," he said.
5. Taliban co-founder Abdul Ghani Baradar called on his fighters to remain disciplined after taking control of the city. "Now it's time to test and prove, now we have to show that we can serve our nation and ensure security and comfort of life," he said in a message on social media.
6. "All those who have previously worked and helped the invaders (Western troops), or are now standing in the ranks of the corrupt Administration of Kabul, the Islamic Emirate has opened its door for them and have announced for them amnesty,” said a Taliban statement.
7. “The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan is not interested in anyone's private property, (not in anyone's cars, not in anyone's land and houses, not in anyone's markets and shops), rather it considers the protection of lives and properties of the nation its primary responsibility,” they said.
8. “In areas which are under the control of the Islamic Emirate, people should lead a normal life, especially in the official arena, whether it is educational, healthy, social or cultural."
9. “We also assure all the diplomats, embassies, consulates, and charitable workers, whether they are international or national that not only no problems will be created for them by the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan security and a secure environment will be provided to them."
10. “We will respect rights of women...our policy is that women will have access to education and work, to wear the hijab,” Taliban spokesperson Suhail Shaheen told the BBC.
(With agency inputs)