Taliban Don’t Want To Rule Afghanistan Alone: Suhail Shaheen

In an interview with the American media, Suhail Shaheen said that they would not lay down their arms until the establishment of a new interim government.

He said that there will be no peace until President Ashraf Ghani is removed. “I want to make it clear that we do not believe in the monopoly of power because any governments who (sought) to monopolize power in Afghanistan in the past, were not successful governments. So we do not want to repeat that same formula,” said Shaheen.

Suhail said that the start of talks is good, but the government’s repeated demands for a ceasefire while Ghani stayed in power were tantamount to demanding a Taliban surrender. “They don’t want reconciliation, but they want to surrender,” he said.

Suhail Shaheen also added that women will be allowed to work, go to school, and participate in politics under the new government, but will have to wear the Hijab or headscarf. “Women won’t be required to have a male relative with them to leave their home, and that Taliban commanders in newly occupied districts have orders that universities, schools, and markets operate as before, including with the participation of women and girls.”

The Taliban control about half of Afghanistan’s 419 district centers, and while they have yet to capture any of the 34 provincial capitals, they are pressuring about half of them.

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