Taliban want good relations with Japan (spokesperson)

A Taliban spokesman said the Islamist group wanted to maintain good relations with Japan, expressing hope that the country would soon reopen its recently closed embassy in Afghanistan.

Doha-based spokesperson Suhail Shaheen told Kyodo News that the Taliban values ​​the activities of Japanese non-governmental organizations in Afghanistan and stressed that the group will guarantee the lives and property of the Japanese as well as local staff working in Afghanistan. the country’s embassy and NGOs.

The photo provided shows Suhail Shaheen. (Kyodo)

“All of us Afghans must come together for our country’s reconstruction and rehabilitation. No one is being targeted as a supporter of the invaders and collaborators of the United States (and others),” Shaheen said. in recorded responses received Tuesday to questions sent via WhatsApp.

“We want Japan to participate in the reconstruction of Afghanistan. And we intend to have good relations with them,” he also said, adding that he hoped Japan would cooperate in various areas.

Japanese NGOs have been active in areas such as education, agriculture and health care in Afghanistan. Among them is the humanitarian group Peshawar-kai, for whom doctor Tetsu Nakamura worked before being killed in December 2019 by armed men in the eastern province of Nangarhar. Nakamura received in 2003 the Ramon Magsaysay Prize of the Philippines, nicknamed the Nobel Prize of Asia.

When previously in power between 1996 and 2001, the Taliban imposed strict Islamic law and restricted women’s rights, especially in education and employment.

But Shaheen said, “The female teachers started going to school to teach in the schools and also the girls they go to school like they were in the past.”

“They can access education and work by observing the hijab,” he added, confirming that women would have similar rights to other countries as long as they wear the religious veil.

Although the Taliban also severely restricted press freedom the last time they were in power, the spokesperson said the group will recognize media freedom and foreign media will be able to report from Kabul or n anywhere else in Afghanistan.

“We (are) attached to the media and to press freedom,” he said.

Regarding anti-Taliban forces in northeast Panjshir, Shaheen said the Taliban wanted to resolve all issues through talks through peaceful means, but added that it depended on the forces, indicating that the Taliban would resort to arms. if necessary.

Earlier this month, the Taliban regained control of Afghanistan 20 years after being ousted from power by US-led forces, with President Ashraf Ghani having fled the country after Kabul was captured by the United States. group on August 15.

Japanese diplomats were evacuated to Dubai on August 17 after the embassy in the capital Kabul closed on August 15.

Associated coverage:

One week after Taliban rule, Afghans look on with suspicion

Biden vows to complete tough evacuation mission in Afghanistan

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