The Taliban gave their first press conference since taking power in Afghanistan on Tuesday afternoon (17/8). In a historic moment, the regime's spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, sat behind the microphones, listened to reporters' questions and, in his own way, tried to reassure Afghans, Afghans and the international community that their rights would be respected.
As she said: “According to Sharia, we are committed to women's rights. They will work with us. “Our sisters, our women will have the same rights, they will be able to benefit from their rights, they will be able to have activities in different fields and opportunities for education and access to health.” He added that “the international community may have concerns, but we would like to make sure that there is no discrimination against women, but of course in accordance with the religious laws we have.”
What caused a sensation apart from his “guarantees” was the fact that for the first time he revealed his face.
He himself acted in the shadows all these years and the only thing he made known was his voice on the phone. It was a shock to journalists and especially to the BBC's Yalda Hakim. He saw the face of a man with whom he had been talking for more than a decade and in fact he answered the first question to a woman.
Despite the assurances of the representative for peace and security in the Asian country, Yalda Hakim says that these are far from the reality and the extreme Islamist messages she has received from time to time from Zambihullah Mujahid. “These messages have made you think: This guy is bloodthirsty for Americans, he is bloodthirsty for anyone in the Afghan government. Then today he sits there and says there will be no retaliation. Has he made these bloodthirsty statements for years and now he suddenly loves peace? “It is difficult to accept it,” she said in a report, according to the BBC.
Is he the one talking on the phone?
It is worth noting, however, that many doubt whether he is the same person whose voice was heard on the other end of the line. The speculation that it is more than one person erupts. Lyse Doucet, head of BBC correspondents, said the scenarios had been around for some time and had been circulating on social media since reporters had to call Mujahid on a landline. “There have been speculations for years that it was a made-up name, that there were a lot of 'Zabihullahs' talking. “Now of course we all accept that he is the real person,” said Ms Doucet.
For her part, Ms. Hakim notes that the mystery is part of the Taliban “game.” “These are the Taliban, they are organized and ideological. They do nothing by chance. They create a mystery around a person, who suddenly appears on the screen. “They could not have written the script better.”
However, regardless of whether Mujahid is a person or not, the BBC correspondent is wary of what was heard at the press conference. “The warning was really Sharia law. The Taliban know how to use the right language. But we must never be sure whether they should believe them or not. There is a lot of mystery. “Do we know who they really are?” He concludes.