The Taliban view their rule of Afghanistan as open-ended, drawing legitimacy from Islamic law and facing no significant threat, their chief spokesman said in an interview marking the second anniversary of the Taliban takeover of the country. He also indicated a ban on female education will remain in place.
Zabihullah Mujahid brushed aside any questions from The Associated Press about restrictions on girls and women, saying the status quo will remain. The ban on girls attending school beyond sixth grade was the first of what became a flurry of restrictions that now keep Afghan women from classrooms, most jobs and much of public life.
The Taliban seized power on Aug. 15, 2021, as U.S. and NATO forces withdrew from the country after two decades of war. To mark the anniversary, Tuesday was declared a public holiday. Women, largely barred from public life, didn’t take part in the festivities.
In the southern city of Kandahar, the spiritual birthplace of the Taliban, military personnel posed with armored vehicles. Young men rode through the city on bicycles, motorcycles and cars, waving flags and brandishing weapons. Toddlers clutched small white Taliban flags bearing a photo of Defense Minister Maulvi Mohammad Yaqoob on the bottom right corner.