Taliban spokesperson Suhail Shaheen told an American news outlet on Friday that the United States should not impose upon Afghanistan its views on women’s rights; insisting that it would be regarded as interfering with their “culture”.
The idea that women can have “education without [a] hijab” is a ‘Western’ concept that is not compatible with the cultural values in Afghanistan; Shaheen said, adding that the Taliban stand opposed to it.
The Taliban spokesperson, however, maintained that; “there will be no issue about women’s rights” in Afghanistan as long as they (the women) receive education and work jobs wearing a hijab.
In an interview with cable media network Fox News, Shaheen said, “There will be no issue about women’s rights; no problem about their education or work; but we should not be changing each other’s culture.”
“That you women should have education without hijab, that is a change of culture,” Shaheen was heard saying in the interview. “Within our culture, women can receive education and work with [a] hijab. This is just one example. There may be more.”
The statement by the Taliban spokesperson came amid reports that the group is close to forming a new interim government in Afghanistan; days after the last of the US troops left on a flight from the Kabul airport.
With this withdrawal, the United States ended its longest war; an extended two-decade-long military campaign in the war-torn nation.
Referring to US military withdrawal from Afghanistan as the end of one ‘chapter’ in the country’s history, the Taliban spokesperson said; “For us, it was [an] occupation, we ended that. We were staging resistance, but now it is closed and it is in the past. Have to focus on the future – that is better for them (the US) and for us.”
“We had this destructive relation, a hostile relation, and now we will turn this into a constructive relation,” said Taliban leader Suhail Shaheen; adding that the group is looking to work the Western nations in a ‘positive way’.
Notably, Taliban leaders and their spokespersons have in recent days offered widely divergent views on a number of issues; which also includes one regarding the Kashmir valley in India.
Most countries around the world; however, seem to be in no hurry to recognise a Taliban government anytime soon even if it is announced.
Western powers say formal recognition of the Taliban government and a resulting flow of economic aid will depend on action to safeguard human rights; the rule of law, and the media.
The White House, additionally, said that the Biden administration has no current plans to release billions in Afghan gold; investments, and foreign currency reserves, which it froze after the Taliban takeover.