Khalilzad in Congress: Taliban had promised that women could be ministers

BAyan News – Zalmay Khalilzad, the former US representative for Afghanistan, says that Taliban officials had promised that women could serve as ministers in their government.

Khalilzad made these statements during a hearing of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. The hearing took place on Friday (February 15) in local US time.

Among his remarks, he stated that Taliban officials had initially announced that women could serve as ministers and participate in all fields of activity.

However, Khalilzad emphasized that after taking control of Afghanistan, the Taliban acted contrary to their promises.

According to Khalilzad, US forces could not remain in Afghanistan to enforce this condition (ensuring women’s rights), and it was expected that this goal would be pursued in intra-Afghan negotiations.

The former US official, referring to the political agreement in Afghanistan, stated that there was no possibility of a quick political agreement, and Ashraf Ghani’s inclination to continue the presence of US forces and his disagreements with the Taliban delayed the withdrawal of forces.

Khalilzad responded to questions from members of the US House of Representatives, stating that the Taliban had seriously violated the Doha agreement by allowing terrorist groups in Afghanistan.

However, he continued to emphasize that the Taliban had to a large extent fulfilled their commitments in the fight against terrorist groups.

Referring to the former Afghan government’s army, he added that the way the army was created, managed, and recruited was not compatible with the conditions in Afghanistan and was mostly influenced by internal political conflicts.

Furthermore, Khalilzad highlighted that in the final chaotic days, army commanders went to the airfield instead of defending the city to escape.

He mentioned that former Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled to the United Arab Emirates out of fear of being killed.

On the other hand, Michael McCaul, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, described Ashraf Ghani’s escape as cowardly.

Michael McCaul, confirming Khalilzad’s statements about the failure to maintain order by the former leaders of Afghanistan, added: “I agree, the actions and escape of Ashraf Ghani were cowardly.”

However, members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee criticized the actions of the US President regarding the unconditional withdrawal of forces from Afghanistan and the political agreement between the Ghani government and the Taliban.

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