The Volokh Conspiracy

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Taliban "Want an Afghanistan That Is Inclusive for All," Says British Chief of Defence Staff


The Independent (UK) reports, with video. The interviewer interrupted, asking "Except women?" Gen. Sir Nick Carter responded:

We have to wait and see. I don't know what they mean ….

I think you have to listen to what they are saying at the moment…. I do think that they have changed and I think they recognize that over the course of the last twenty years Afghanistan has evolved. They recognize the fundamental role women that have played in that evolution.

And yes, they at the moment will undoubtedly say that they want to respect women's rights under Islamic law and that will be a Sharia law, but that doesn't necessarily mean that they won't allow them to be involved in government, and in education, and in medicine, and those things that they need them to be involved in. So I think we have to be patient; we have to give them the space to show how they are going to step up to the plate.

I've got to say that I'm extremely skeptical as to these hopes, and especially as to the overarching summary—again, that the Taliban "want an Afghanistan that is inclusive for all." (See, e.g., here and here and here.) But I suppose we have no choice now but to see what happens.