Amir Khan Muttaqi, the Taliban's Foreign Minister, has said that terms such as terrorism and human rights lack clear definitions, yet governments like the Taliban, face sanctions based on these grounds.
Muttaqi refuted the Western countries' criticism of the detention and torture of human rights activists by the Taliban and accused the West of double standards with regards to human rights.
He made this statement on Thursday during the graduation ceremony of a three-month course at the Institute of Diplomacy of the group’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
He pointed to the killing of thousands of Palestinian lives and said that nothing is being said about Israel's actions. Muttaqi emphasised that there is still no definition of human rights, criticising the imposition of sanctions under the name of human rights on certain nations and governments.
Senior Taliban officials are not allowed to travel due to UN sanctions and the group is under severe international sanctions due to terrorist activities.
The Taliban government has not been recognised and has been isolated for not respecting human rights and having a relationship with terrorist groups.
The Taliban's foreign minister further accused Afghan civil activists of collaborating with Western countries. In justifying their detention, he stated, "Five individuals in Afghanistan, in contact with the West and working for them, have been imprisoned and it is been said that their rights have been violated. If the prisons worldwide are filled with the oppressed, it is not necessarily a violation of human rights."
In the last two years, the Taliban has closed girls' schools and barred women and girls from attending universities. The group has detained and subjected hundreds of civil activists and women's rights defenders to torture.
Experts and human rights organisations said that the Taliban's regressive policies and exclusion of women from societal participation constitute a form of gender apartheid.