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“Ask Facebook”: Taliban when queried about freedom of speech

Barring this comment on Facebook, Zabihullah Mujahid sounded reconciliatory in the entire press conference

Wednesday August 18, 2021 9:19 AM, ummid.com News Network

Taliban about Facebook

[Taliban leaders addressed the group’s first official press conference Tuesday after taking over Afghanistan and announcing end of 20-year-long war.]

Kabul: Taliban on Tuesday, while assuring freedom of speech in Afghanistan, called out Facebook for selective censorship and suppressing information.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid was asked if his new government would honor free speech in a press conference in Kabul Tuesday. Answering the question, Zabihullah Mujahid said:

“This question should be asked to those people who are claiming to be promoters of freedom of speech (but) who do not allow publication of all information”, Zabihullah Mujahid said, in Taliban’s first official media briefing after taking over the power in Afghanistan.

“I could ask Facebook. You should ask this question to Facebook”, he said apparently referring to Facebook ban on Taliban leaders’ accounts.

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Mujahid however hastened to add that private media could continue to be free and independent in Afghanistan, adding that the Taliban are committed to the media within its cultural framework.

"Islam is a very important value in our country. Nothing should be against Islamic values when it comes to the activities of the media," he said.

"They can critique our work so that we can improve," the Taliban spokesman added.

"No Enemies"

Barring this comment on Facebook, Zabihullah Mujahid sounded reconciliatory in the entire press conference, trying hard to allay fears of a return to their previous harsh rule.

Reiterating the general amnesty the Taliban had announced soon after taking over Kabul, Zabihullah Mujahid said the group does not wish to "repeat any conflict, any war".

"We want to do away with the factors for conflict. Therefore, the Islamic Emirate does not have any kind of hostility or animosity towards anybody," he said.

He added that all animosities "have come to an end".

"We would like to live peacefully. We do not want any internal or external enemies," he said, Geo News reported.

Mujahid also assured that women and girls will be allowed to go to work and schools and colleges abiding the guidelines as stated in the Islamic sharia.

"UAE welcome Taliban statements"

Meanwhile, United Arab Emirates (UAE) has said welcomed the statements of the Taliban, calling them "encouraging".

"Nations are not built with revenge, but through amnesty, through dialogue and tolerance," said Anwar Gargash, the diplomatic advisor to the UAE president.

"We hope that the Afghans will turn the pages of suffering in favor of peace and prosperity," he added on Twitter.

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