A spokesman for the Taliban, who took power in Afghanistan as a result of the offensive, said Tuesday that after 20 years of fighting, they “liberated the country and drove out foreigners.” This is a moment of pride for the whole nation – said Zabihullah Mujahid at the first press conference since the fighters took control of the country.

The Taliban entered Kabul on Sunday. Taking advantage of the withdrawal of international military forces under US command, they took control of the country. The previous US-backed government collapsed and the country’s president, Ashraf Ghani, fled abroad.

Taliban spokesman after taking power in Afghanistan

A Taliban spokesman reported that all government troops who fought the Taliban have been pardoned. – We forgave everyone for the sake of stability and peace in Afghanistan – he stressed. Zabihullah Mujahid also announced that the Taliban will not take revenge on Afghan workers and translators previously cooperating with international coalition forces. “They will remain safe, no one will interrogate or pursue them,” he promised.

The Taliban official also said the evacuation process from Kabul airport would not be disrupted by the Taliban. The mujahid pointed out that the Taliban’s goal was not to cause chaos in the city, and their original plan was to stop in front of the capital. However, Taliban troops had to enter Kabul to ensure the safety of the inhabitants, which the failing government was unable to do, he explained.

The Mujahid also reassured the international community that Afghanistan did not want any internal or external enemies and would not seek conflicts. – We forgave everyone who fought with us. It’s the end of hostility. (…) we want to be sure that Afghanistan will no longer be a battlefield – he stressed.

Taliban spokesman on the rights of Afghan women

The spokesman emphasized that Afghanistan will respect women’s rights, but within the framework of Muslim law. – There will be no discrimination, there will be no violence (…), we will allow women to work and learn within the basic principles of our Muslim law – said Mujahid. However, the Taliban representative did not answer journalists’ questions about how these announcements would be implemented in practice. – We are a Muslim nation, it was like that 20 years ago and it is so now. But of course when it comes to awareness, maturity and vision, we see a huge difference between us 20 years ago and now. The actions we are going to take are different (than 20 years ago – ed.). This is due to the evolution of our approach, said Mujahid.

Mujahid announced that private media could operate under the Taliban, but that it should operate within “our cultural framework” and in line with Islamic values

Addressing Western countries, a Taliban spokesman announced that Afghanistan would become a drug-free country and asked for help in developing crops that could replace poppy fields. He added that Afghanistan would also not be a country sheltering terrorists.