Taliban vows softer approach but how long will it last?

World

Taliban vows softer approach but how long will it last?

There are growing fears the Taliban will oppress women and ethnic minorities in Afghanistan

Faseeh Mangi and Eltaf Najafizada

On the eve of the US invasion in 2001, a top Taliban diplomat issued a warning: “Afghanistan is a swamp. People enter here laughing, are exiting injured.”

The US, which soon afterwards ousted the Taliban from Kabul in a matter of weeks, is now racing to evacuate the capital, after the militant group seized control of it on Sunday much faster than anyone predicted.

Even before the Taliban announce what comes next, the militant group appears in a stronger position on the world stage than it ever achieved during its five-year rule that ended after the September 11 2001 terrorist attacks. Back then it was still fighting various warlords and its government was only recognised by three countries, Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, for a bit. Its leader at the time had never been photographed...

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