Taliban Bans Afghans from Kabul Airport: ‘We Need Their Talent’

FILE - In this Monday, Aug. 16, 2021 file photo hundreds of people gather near a U.S. Air Force C-17 transport plane along the perimeter at the international airport in Kabul, Afghanistan. Hundreds of Western nationals and Afghan workers have been flown to safety since the Taliban reasserted control over …
AP Photo/Shekib Rahmani, File

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid on Tuesday announced the jihadist organization would not allow Afghan nationals to enter Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul.

“We ask the Americans: Don’t encourage Afghans to leave. We need their talent,” he said. “The crowd gathered at the airport can go home. The Taliban guarantees their security.”

Mujahid added that the Taliban would not allow any extensions to the United States’ military presence — or other countries attempting to extract citizens — in Afghanistan beyond August 31.

Mujahid claimed, despite copious evidence to the contrary, that the Taliban is still offering “amnesty” to former employees of the deposed government and wishes to bring “peace to our country.”

“There is no list; we are not following anybody,” Mujahid said, contradicting numerous reports of the Taliban searching house-to-house for names on a “kill list” of “collaborators.” He claimed “no incident of torture or killing has been reported to authorities” since the Taliban took over.

Taliban fighters stand guard at a checkpoint near the US embassy that was previously manned by American troops, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2021. The Taliban declared an "amnesty" across Afghanistan and urged women to join their government Tuesday, seeking to convince a wary population that they have changed a day after deadly chaos gripped the main airport as desperate crowds tried to flee the country. (AP Photo)

Taliban fighters stand guard at a checkpoint near the US embassy that was previously manned by American troops, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2021. The Taliban declared an “amnesty” across Afghanistan and urged women to join their government Tuesday, seeking to convince a wary population that they have changed a day after deadly chaos gripped the main airport as desperate crowds tried to flee the country. (AP Photo)

U.S soldiers stand guard along a perimeter at the international airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, Aug. 16, 2021. On Monday, the U.S. military and officials focus was on Kabul’s airport, where thousands of Afghans trapped by the sudden Taliban takeover rushed the tarmac and clung to U.S. military planes deployed to fly out staffers of the U.S. Embassy, which shut down Sunday, and others. (AP Photo/Shekib Rahmani)

U.S soldiers stand guard along a perimeter at the international airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, Aug. 16, 2021. On Monday, the U.S. military and officials focus was on Kabul’s airport, where thousands of Afghans trapped by the sudden Taliban takeover rushed the tarmac and clung to U.S. military planes deployed to fly out staffers of the U.S. Embassy, which shut down Sunday, and others. (AP Photo/Shekib Rahmani)

U.N. human rights chief Michele Bachelet said Tuesday she has received credible reports of Taliban human rights violations, including the summary execution of civilians and captured Afghan security forces.

Mujahid said at a religious event on Monday that Afghan nationals should stop trying to flee the country because the U.S. and other Western powers are putting them in prison-like refugee camps instead of giving them opportunities for economic empowerment. He claimed the Taliban would eliminate corruption from Afghanistan, respect private property, and provide abundant opportunities for its people.

HAMID KARZAI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, AFGHANISTAN - AUGUST 22: This handout image shows A Marine with the 24th Marine Expeditionary unit (MEU) passes out water to evacuees during an evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport, Kabul, Afghanistan, Aug. 22. U.S. service members are assisting the Department of State with a Non-combatant Evacuation Operation (NEO) in Afghanistan. (Photo by Sgt. Isaiah Campbell / U.S. Marine Corps via Getty Images)

HAMID KARZAI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, AFGHANISTAN – AUGUST 22: This handout image shows A Marine with the 24th Marine Expeditionary unit (MEU) passes out water to evacuees during an evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport, Kabul, Afghanistan, Aug. 22. U.S. service members are assisting the Department of State with a Non-combatant Evacuation Operation (NEO) in Afghanistan. (Photo by Sgt. Isaiah Campbell / U.S. Marine Corps via Getty Images)

TOPSHOT - This image made available to AFP on August 20, 2021 by Omar Haidiri, shows a US Marine grabbing an infant over a fence of barbed wire during an evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul on August 19, 2021. - A Pentagon official confirmed Friday that US evacuation operations from Kabul's airport have been stalling because the receiving base in Qatar is overflowing and could not receive evacuees. "There has been a considerable amount of time today where there haven't been departures," Brigadier General Dan DeVoe of the US Air Mobility Command told reporters. (Photo by Omar HAIDIRI / Courtesy of Omar Haidiri / AFP) (Photo by OMAR HAIDIRI/Courtesy of Omar Haidiri/AFP via Getty Images)

TOPSHOT – This image made available to AFP on August 20, 2021 by Omar Haidiri, shows a US Marine grabbing an infant over a fence of barbed wire during an evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul on August 19, 2021. – A Pentagon official confirmed Friday that US evacuation operations from Kabul’s airport have been stalling because the receiving base in Qatar is overflowing and could not receive evacuees. “There has been a considerable amount of time today where there haven’t been departures,” Brigadier General Dan DeVoe of the US Air Mobility Command told reporters. (Photo by Omar HAIDIRI / Courtesy of Omar Haidiri / AFP) (Photo by OMAR HAIDIRI/Courtesy of Omar Haidiri/AFP via Getty Images)

Mujahid said developing Afghanistan’s natural resources to increase national prosperity was a top priority of the Taliban regime.

“There is a plan for it, extraction of mines and implementation of the TAPI gas pipeline project and similar projects would be implemented under the new administration,” he said. The TAPI (Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India) pipeline is a 30-year-old proposal the Taliban has long promised to support after toppling the elected government of Afghanistan.

Afghanistan’s trade with Iran and Pakistan is surging under Taliban rule, according to Khaama Press on Monday. The Afghan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which met with officials from the Taliban’s “Islamic Emirate” on Monday, claimed trade with Pakistan increased by 50 percent last week.

The Taliban appointed one of its clerics, Mullah Abdulqahar, to head the central bank of Afghanistan on Monday. It also named Hemat Akhundzada as minister of education.

Abdulqahar told central bank employees they would be allowed to keep their jobs and promised banks currently shuttered across Afghanistan would soon reopen. Akhundzada claimed the Taliban will permit girls to be educated, but only under limits prescribed by Islamic sharia law.

The Taliban previously appointed ministers of public works, water and power, and security for Kabul, along with an acting mayor of Kabul and a chairman for Afghanistan’s national cricket board. Taliban officials met on Sunday with members of the national cricket team and said the sport would be allowed to continue.

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