Taliban says they ‘forgive’ the soldiers who fought against them

·1-min read
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid (AP)
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid (AP)

The Taliban has said the group “forgives” former soldiers who fought for the Western-backed Afghan government and will not seek retribution.

The armed group’s spokesperson delivered the remarks on Tuesday, just days after it completed a military coup against the country’s democratically-elected regime.

Zabihullah Mujahid said there was an “amnesty” and the militant group would not be seeking enemies inside or outside of Afghanistan.

He told a press conference in Kabul this includes former Afghan government soldiers as well as contractors and translators who worked for international forces.

“Nobody is going to harm you, nobody is going to knock on your doors,” he said.

He explained the Taliban hoped the large crowds of people frantically trying to board flights would stay and help rebuild their country.

The Taliban held their first official news conference in Kabul on Tuesday, promising to respect the rights of women as well as to seek good relations with other countries and not to extract retribution on former members of the Afghan military.

Mr Mujahid echoed assurances from other Taliban officials who have sought to calm growing fears.

“We don’t want to repeat any conflict, any war again, and we want to do away with the factors for conflict,” he said through a translator.

“Animosities have come to an end, and we would like to live peacefully. We don’t want any internal enemies and any external enemies.”

He said a new government would be formalised as soon as the unstable conditions in Kabul permitted.

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