Scores of Afghans, among them President Ashraf Ghani, have fled from that country following the seizure of power by the Taliban militant group.
President Ashraf Ghani fled the country on Sunday as the Taliban entered Kabul virtually unopposed, saying he wanted to avoid bloodshed.
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This is despite promises by the militant group that it will not be vindictive and will ensure there is no infringement of rights, especially of women.
There are fears that the Sunni Islamist organization will likely put in place strict rules as those that were in place in the 1990s before the United States removed the Taliban government from power.
Back then, women had to wear head-to-toe coverings, weren’t allowed to study or work and were forbidden from travelling alone. TV, music and non-Islamic holidays were also banned.
The Taliban, now led by Mawlawi Haibatullah Akhundzada, a senior religious cleric from the Taliban’s founding generation, says women will be allowed to go to school and work, within the confines of the Shariah law (Islamic law).
Across Afghanistan, people are waiting to find out what kind of regime they will live under — and whether those who supported the US-backed government over the past 20 years will face retribution from the Taliban.
Through televised briefings, statements and press conferences, Taliban officials made assurances on Tuesday that retribution was not on the cards.
The group’s deputy leader Maulvi Mohammad Yaqub told fighters not to “enter into homes of people or confiscate their cars,” in an audio message distributed widely through Taliban channels.
But those promises have been met with scepticism by the international community, and instances of intimidation have already begun.
The Taliban has been waging an insurgency against the allied forces and the US-backed Afghan government for two decades.
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