Taliban Declares General ‘Amnesty’ For Former Officials In First Statement Of Governance

The Taliban on Tuesday is apparently attempting to move quickly from conquering the capital city to preventing rioting and providing stability – in essence y trying to show the world, including their new reluctant backers in Beijing – that the group is ready to rule and bring an end to foreign occupation.

Taliban leadership proclaimed on Tuesday a “general amnesty” for all government officials, urging them to return to their posts to ensure a smooth transition away from the US-backed Ashraf Ghani government – who fled the country on Sunday allegedly with bags of cash. But the statement emphasized all things will be done in accordance with sharia law.

Screengrab via Al Jazeera

Surprisingly, the new Islamist rulers of Afghanistan signaled women could have a limited role in some government ministries. “Women would also be allowed to play a role in government that corresponds with sharia law, the group said,” France24 reports.

The proclamation constitutes the first public comments on governance since the Taliban’s rapid weekend takeover of the entire country which culminated in the taking of Kabul, triggering a wave of desperate civilians to overrun the international airport while US troops struggled to gain order, resulting in at least seven deaths that included trampling, shootings, and people falling from a C-17 military transport plane as they attempted to cling to the landing gear base.

The Taliban announcement was made by spokesman Enamullah Samangani, and appears an attempt to instill calm at a moment many are still fleeing and amid rumors the Taliban are going door to door with “kill lists” looking for Afghan special forces soldiers, or anyone who previously partnered with US and NATO occupying forces:

“You should restart your routine life with full confidence,” Samangani said in announcing the amnesty. Some appeared to take the advice to heart, with white-capped traffic police reappearing on the streets for the first time in days.

Women would also be allowed to join the government in accordance with sharia law, he said.

“The Islamic Emirate doesn’t want women to be victims,” Samangani said, using the militants’ term for Afghanistan. “They should be in the government structure according to Shariah law.”

“The structure of government is not fully clear, but based on experience, there should be a fully Islamic leadership and all sides should join,” he added. 

Some analysts are currently speculating that the Taliban of today will be different and more “moderate” from the Taliban of the 1990’s. Other reports have pointed to the propaganda nature of the new statements, geared toward ensuring a Taliban grip on power with no external hostile powers’ interference.

Further according to analysis in The Guardian, “The Taliban appear bent on incorporating elements of the previous regime, with whom in fact they have already made deals over the past few months. Among the most prominent are former foreign minister Salahuddin Rabbani, former president Hamid Karzai and former deputy president Karim Khalili.”

But then there will no doubt also be notorious terrorists invited among the new government ranks: “Some Islamic parties and groups, such as Hizb-i Islami, led by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, have also made deals with the Taliban and are likely to be represented in the future government,” the report adds.

But for all the suggestions of “moderation” – it’s sadly more likely that this is what the world is about to see once again out of the new Taliban emirate