Top Taliban leader makes more promises on women’s rights but quips ‘naughty women’ should stay home


By Jo Shelley, Masoud Popalzai, Ehsan Popalzai, Ahmet Mengli and Rob Picheta, CNN

A senior Taliban formal has repeated the group’s as-nonetheless-unfulfilled pledge to enable ladies again into high school, stating there would be “good news quickly,” but prompt that women who protested the regime’s limitations on females rights need to continue to be property.

Sirajuddin Haqqani, Afghanistan’s performing inside minister and the Taliban’s co-deputy leader since 2016, produced the remarks in an exceptional, initially on-camera job interview showing his facial area with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour in Kabul.

In March following lots of promises that ladies would be able to show up at secondary faculty, the Taliban reversed their final decision, suspending the return indefinitely.

When asked about Afghan females who say they are worried to leave their properties underneath Taliban rule, and all those who have reported a chilling effect of the militant group’s management, Haqqani included with a laugh: “We maintain naughty ladies at home.”

Following getting pressed to explain his remark by Amanpour, he said: “By saying naughty females, it was a joke referring to people naughty girls who are controlled by some other sides to deliver the current federal government into concern.”

Haqqani also set out some parameters for the long term of women of all ages and perform, which will be minimal by the Taliban’s interpretation of Islamic law and “national, cultural and classic ideas.”

“They are allowed to operate in just their possess framework,” he instructed Amanpour.

The Taliban minister was talking in his initial on-digicam interview with a Western media outlet in many years, just months soon after displaying his confront in general public for the 1st time. The significant-rating and intensely secretive formal is required by the FBI and has been labeled by the US Point out Division as a “specially specified international terrorist.” He has a $10 million bounty on his head.

His opinions on girls’ training and the legal rights of ladies punctuated a collection of promises that “there is no one particular opposed to (girls’) education” in the Afghan govt.

“Already women are authorized to go to faculty up to grade 6, and higher than that quality, the work is continuing on a system,” Haqqani claimed. “Very soon, you will listen to pretty excellent news about this problem, God willing,” he extra, with no specifying a timeframe.

Afterwards, Haqqani’s aides reported the interview was an exertion to open a new chapter in relations with the US and the world.

But the Taliban have regularly designed assurances to the intercontinental local community that it will protect the legal rights of females and women considering that seizing Afghanistan previous August, when at the same time stripping absent several of their freedoms and protections.

Several college-age ladies and ladies have by now dropped hope. “Their overall governing administration [is] in opposition to girls’ instruction,” 19-12 months-previous Maryam told CNN on Tuesday. “I really don’t feel that the Taliban fulfil their guarantees … they never fully grasp our feelings.”

“Step by step they are using all our freedoms,” extra Fatima, 17. “The Taliban now and the Taliban of the 90s are the exact — I do not see any adjust on their coverage and guidelines.

“Our only hope is the worldwide local community provides excessive strain on the Taliban to allow for girls to go to university. Very little else [will] get the job done.”

Maryam and Fatima, like the other women CNN spoke to, did not present their final names because of to fears about their security.

Haqqani’s responses will possible do small to stimulate observers that the Taliban are serious about their commitments. “Everyone from the Taliban management has zero trustworthiness on this difficulty,” Heather Barr, affiliate director of the Women’s Legal rights Division at worldwide watchdog Human Rights Enjoy, advised CNN.

“They have produced representations about their intended respect for females and ladies,” because having energy, Barr extra. “Every working day immediately after that there was a new crackdown on girls, and that’s ongoing to intensify more than time.”

The G7 overseas ministers and the Significant Consultant of the European Union previous week expressed their “strongest opposition” from the escalating restrictions imposed by the Taliban on women’s and girls’ rights. Haqqani told CNN the global community’s “judgements, investigation, and decision producing are all a single-sided,” incorporating: “We are however at the preliminary stage. It has barely been eight months given that we took over the governing administration … we are however to deliver the circumstance again to ordinary.”

Soon after having energy, the Taliban have warned ladies to stay household and their fighters have employed whips and sticks in opposition to all those protesting. In the subsequent months, they have been banned from big swathes of general public daily life — from showing on tv to taking long highway journeys by yourself. A new decree earlier this month explained girls must go over their faces in community.

When pressed by Amanpour on whether or not all females have to include their faces, Haqqani responded: “We are not forcing ladies to don [the] hijab, but we are advising them and preaching to them from time to time … [the] hijab is not compulsory but it is an Islamic get that everyone need to employ.”

On the streets of Kabul, the growing isolation of women from culture has still left a lot of in financial peril. “I have to do the job,” a girl named Khotima advised CNN. “They should really allow us work since we have to turn out to be the men of the spouse and children so we can find bread for the little ones.”

“When you really do not have revenue, when you never have [a] position, you do not have earnings, would you be able to try to eat suitable meals when there is no function?” included a different woman named Farishta.

US not ‘currently’ enemy, Haqqani states

Haqqani was talking with CNN two months right after the Taliban unveiled scarce photos of the minister at a ceremony for police officers. Prior to that, he experienced rarely been found in community his FBI “Most Wanted” poster options only a grainy photo displaying element of his facial area.

He is wished by the agency for questioning in link with a 2008 assault on a resort in Kabul that killed six men and women which include a US citizen the US govt states Haqqani admitted to arranging the attack in a earlier media job interview. He is component of the loved ones that sorts the Haqqani network, the Islamist militant organization established by his father Jalaluddin Haqqani, which was designated as a terrorist group by the United States in 2012.

Haqqani advised CNN that “In the long term, we would like to have very good relations with the United States and the worldwide neighborhood,” adding: “currently we do not seem at them as enemies.”

But he manufactured recurring assurances about women’s rights and schooling for women that ended up at odds with the observations of world-wide watchdogs and governments.

“The worldwide community is boosting the challenge of women’s legal rights a whole lot. Below in Afghanistan, there are Islamic, national, cultural, and standard ideas,” he said. “Within the boundaries of these concepts, we are functioning to deliver them with prospects to operate and that is our aim.”

The Taliban produced a so-termed “decree on women’s rights” in December that failed to point out accessibility to schooling or do the job and was promptly criticized by Afghan women of all ages and experts, who claimed it was proof that the militant team was uninterested in upholding primary freedoms for millions of females.

Afghan women earlier mentioned grade 6 had been because of to go back to college in March for the initially time due to the fact the Taliban’s takeover, but ended up informed to remain residence until finally an proper college uniform in accordance to Sharia and Afghan customs and lifestyle is built, the Taliban-run Bakhtar News Agency reported at the time.

Haqqani informed CNN the delay was necessary although leaders layout the “mechanism” as a result of which ladies can return to training. “There had been some shortcomings in the preparations that have been ongoing. Perform is ongoing on those concerns,” he claimed.

But specialists expressed skepticism that their motives are various than was the scenario concerning 1996 and 2001, when the to start with Taliban regime barred ladies from finding out.

“They often said the conditions are not ideal now, [but they would] determine it out,” Barr stated. “In individuals 5 decades, that moment never came. So quite obviously to gals and ladies, that was constantly a lie, and that is how it feels this time as effectively.”

Haqqani was also questioned on the position of Mark Frerichs, a US veteran and contractor who was kidnapped in Kabul in late January 2020 and is considered to be held by the Haqqani community.

A proof of existence video, apparently filmed in November 2021, emerged in April, in which Frerichs reported: “I’d like to ask the management of the Islamic Emirate of fghanistan, please, release me. Release me so that I may be reunited with my spouse and children.”

Haqqani advised CNN: “That is what they consider, that he is with us … There is no impediment from the Emirate facet for his launch. If the United States accepts the Islamic Emirate’s ailments, the concern of his release could be solved in a day.

“About the assumptions that he could be with us, I want to say that we are section of the Islamic Emirate, we are committed to obey the orders of Amirul Momineen, the Supreme Leader,” he included. “Efforts are ongoing at the government level, and a staff is selected for negotiations with them.”

When attained for remark, a US Point out Office spokesperson advised CNN: “The safe and sound and instant launch of US citizen and Navy veteran Mark Frerichs is very important. We have made that obvious to the Taliban and called on them to release him instantly in virtually just about every dialogue around the past two many years.”

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CNN’s Jack Guy and Madalena Araujo contributed to this post.



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