New Zealand wants an Islamic militant group that defeated the Afghan government to uphold basic rights and freedoms.
Jacinda Ardern wants every Taliban fighter to respect the human rights of Afghan people who worked with either their democratically elected government, or U.S. forces.
The left-leaning Labour prime minister is very concerned the militant group could return to its old brutal and oppressive ways, especially towards women.
“I would just again implore those who made these moves in recent days to acknowledge what the international community has called for–human rights and the safety of their people,” Ardern said in a statement.
Taliban spokesman Mohammad Naeem confirmed the war is over, and the incoming dictatorship would set new rules and reforms according to Reuters.
However, Afghan people suspect the militant group will return “dark days” to the country. Women might be barred access to education, and from leaving home without a male escort.
“We want to see women and girls being able to access work and education,” she said in the statement. “These are things that have traditionally not been available to them where there has been governance by the Taliban.”
Naeem fired back the Taliban does safeguard people’s lives and property, while also establishing a peaceful and secure atmosphere. The group promised to pardon for anyone who worked for the prior government or foreign forces. It also vowed to uphold women and minority rights plus freedom of expression in accordance with Sharia law.
However, not all Taliban fighters share these values. Reuters reported several of them entered Kabul, and began painting over street advertising for wedding dresses.
Kabul. pic.twitter.com/RyZcA7pktj— Lotfullah Najafizada (@LNajafizada) August 15, 2021
Ardern’s remarks came after the world watched the Afghan government flee Kabul, and Taliban seize control of the presidential palace.
“The whole world is watching,” the prime minister said. “Taliban is making claims about the kind of administration they wish to be [and] we would implore them [to] allow people to leave safely … it is not a matter of trust–it is going to be all about the actions, not the words.”
Ardern also promised to evacuate New Zealanders and about 37 Afghan individuals who cooperated with New Zealand Defence Forces.