Don’t Know When Girls’ Schools Will Reopen, Says Suhail Shaheen

7/11/2022

Suhail Shaheen, head of the political office of the Taliban in Qatar, said that he doesn’t know when secondary schools will be open to girls in Afghanistan.

Mr. Shaheen made the remarks during an exclusive interview with Afghanistan International.

Head of the political office of the Taliban in Qatar expressed hope that this issue “will be resolved in the light of Islamic prnciples and values”.

It has been more than 296 days since the gates of secondary schools have been shut for girls in Afghanistan. The Taliban have ignored all domestic and international criticisms regarding the closure of girls' schools.

The head of the Taliban’s political office in Doha, did not deny the differences of opinion of leaders of the Taliban regarding the reopening of schools for girls and said that this issue has many aspects and “all of them must be resolved”.

He said, "We are not against education, but we have always said that this issue should be resolved in the light of Islamic values and principles."

Over the past 300 days, the group has always avoided answering fundamental questions about girls' education, with generic comments such as "they are preparing suitable conditions or solving the problem in the light of Islamic principles, and that they continue to work on the plan to reopen schools for them".

Currently, Afghanistan is the only country in the world where girls are denied the right to education.

After the Taliban entered Kabul on August 15, 2021, severe restrictions have been imposed on the civil and political rights of Afghan women. The working women of Afghanistan have lost their jobs in most cases and no women are involved in the policing-making circles of the country.

Human rights organizations have said that the Taliban are practicing "gender apartheid" against Afghan women.

The international community has always proposed the reopening of girls' schools, the formation of an inclusive government and the fight against international terrorism in Afghanistan as conditions for the recognition of the Taliban government.

Shaheen said that the Taliban differ from other political groups in the definition of "inclusive government". He said that various figures from different ethnic groups who participated with this group in the war against the previous Afghan government and international forces have a role in the Taliban government.

But even after more than 10 months since the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan, no government in the world has recognized them as a legitimate state.

Many countries in the region and the world have emphasized that they will not recognize the administration of the Taliban until an inclusive government is formed in Afghanistan.

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