- Over the weekend, Taliban insurgents took control over Afghanistan, sending thousands of civilians & military allies fleeing for safety.
- Beijing appears to believe that the Taliban would bring in an “inclusive” government with moderate Islamic policies.
- Taliban spokesperson Shaheen also claimed that worldwide allegations of violence against women were false.
Taliban spokesperson Suhail Shaheen in an interview late on Thursday, told Chinese state media CGTN that China can play a significant role in the “rebuilding, rehabilitation, and reconstruction of Afghanistan.”
Shaheen’s interview aired only hours after the Chinese foreign ministry stated that the current Taliban seemed more “clear-headed and logical” than they were from 1996 to 2001.
In the last week, the Taliban militant organisation has taken control of Kabul and most of the territory, sending thousands of civilians and Afghan military allies fleeing to safety.
Experts and Afghan media indicate that many fear a return to the strict interpretation of Islamic law established during the Taliban’s 20-year rule.
Beijing appears to believe differently, and has stated repeatedly that it expects the Taliban would bring in a “inclusive” government with moderate Islamic policies.
When asked if the group would enact similar harsh rules to those imposed in the 1990s, Shaheen argued that worldwide allegations of violence against women were false.
“There is no enslavement of women; women are permitted to continue their profession as journalists, and they are practically currently doing so. They go to school if they are teachers,” Shaheen told CGTN Europe.
He stated that Afghan Muslims were happy to be controlled by strict Sharia law, but emphasised that the legal system allowed for several layers of appeal to protect the innocent.
When asked about China’s participation, Shaheen stated that the Taliban had maintained contacts with Beijing.
“China is a large country with a massive economy and capability. I believe it has the potential to play a big role in Afghanistan’s rebuilding, rehabilitation, and reconstruction,” Shaheen added.
Shaheen said that the group has the backing of the Afghan people.
He described the Taliban’s progress across Afghanistan as “people revolt against an imposed administration,” adding that the group’s rapid advance across the country legitimises its seizure of the national government.
“It is not an election, but it displays the people’s support,” Shaheen said.