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Taliban say no plans to reopen schools

AT News

KABUL – The Taliban view their rule in Afghanistan is indefinite and facing minimal opposition, drawing legitimacy from Islamic law, their spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said on the occasion of second anniversary of the Taliban takeover.

Mujahid also said the Taliban have no plans to lift the ban on girls’ education. In an interview with the Associated Press Zabihullah Mujahid brushed aside any questions about restrictions on girls and women, saying the status quo will remain unaltered.

This initial ban on girls attending school past sixth grade set the tone for a series of regulations that now confine Afghan women, limiting their access to education, employment, and public engagement.

Reflecting on two years of their rule, Mujahid maintained that the Taliban regime faced no internal or external threats, lauding his government’s responsible conduct and emphasizing Afghans’ yearning for harmony and unity. He discouraged rebellion and expressed reluctance to delve into discussions about female education, asserting that unless there were developments, revisiting the topic held little purpose.

Mujahid presented the Taliban’s stance on female education, indicating that their reluctance wasn’t based on opposition in principle but rather the need for additional resources and time to implement gender-segregated learning environments in accordance with their interpretation of Sharia. Mujahid acknowledged that the matter was subject to differing views among religious scholars and underscored the importance of maintaining consensus among them.

Regarding international recognition, Mujahid downplayed concerns about potential isolation due to restrictions on women and girls. He highlighted the Taliban’s official interactions with various nations, including China, Russia, and neighboring countries, suggesting that embassies, trade, and economic activities constituted recognition of their government’s legitimacy.

The Taliban ascended to power on August 15, 2021, coinciding with the withdrawal of U.S. and NATO forces after two decades of conflict. To observe this anniversary, Tuesday was designated a public holiday, though women, largely excluded from public activities, refrained from participating. In Kandahar, the birthplace of the Taliban, military personnel posed alongside armored vehicles, while citizens celebrated with flags and weapons.

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