Saturday, December 29, 2018
As moves toward peace pick up in Afghanistan, the Taliban are trying to show they have changed since the brutal days of the 1990s when they banned music and girls' education and carried out public executions in Kabul's football stadium. "If peace comes and the Taliban return, then our return will not be in the same harsh way as it was in 1996," Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid told Reuters, referring to the year they took over in Kabul before their ouster by U.S.-led troops in 2001. "We want to assure Afghan nationals that there will be no threat to anyone from our side."
With Afghanistan likely to remain dependent on foreign aid for years, the Taliban know they cannot return to the past when fighters swept into Kabul after the chaos of the 1990s civil war.
"I think that these statements that the Taliban have changed are only excuses that are being used by the Taliban to gain acceptance," said Malina Hamidi, a teacher at a school in the Chamtal district of Balkh province.
"I am 100 percent confident that once they come back to power, they will be the same Taliban that ruled Afghanistan in the '90s."
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