Latest: Taliban to Kabul city workers: stay home

Latest: Taliban to Kabul city workers: stay home

KABUL, Afghanistan – The interim mayor of the Afghan capital said the country’s new Taliban rulers have ordered many female city employees to stay at home.

Hamdallah Namouni told reporters on Sunday that only women who cannot be replaced by men are allowed to come to work. He says this includes skilled workers in the design and engineering departments as well as midwives for women’s public toilets.

Namouni’s comments were another sign that the Taliban are imposing their strict interpretation of Islam, including restrictions on women in public life, despite their initial promises of tolerance and inclusion. In their earlier rule in the 1990s, the Taliban banned girls and women from schools and jobs.

The mayor says the final decision on female employees in Kabul municipal administrations is still pending, and that they will settle their salaries in the meantime.

He says that before the Taliban took over Afghanistan last month, just under a third of the city’s nearly 3,000 employees were women who worked in all departments.

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ISLAMABAD – The Pakistani Prime Minister said he has “initiated a dialogue” with the Taliban urging them to form an inclusive government that will ensure peace and stability not only in Afghanistan but also in the region.

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Imran Khan tweeted on Saturday that he took the initiative after his meetings this week in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, with leaders of Afghanistan’s neighboring countries.

The Taliban last week announced an all-men-only interim government that includes no women or members of Afghan minorities – contrary to their earlier pledges of inclusivity. They have also since moved to limit women’s rights, returning to their harsh rule when they were in power in the 1990s.

Khan says he had detailed discussions with Tajik President Emomali Rahmon on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization meeting in Dushanbe. The Economic and Security Community consists of China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, India and Pakistan.

“After meetings in Dushanbe with leaders of Afghanistan’s neighbors and especially a lengthy discussion with President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon, I started a dialogue with the Taliban for an inclusive Afghan government that includes Tajiks, Hazaras and Uzbeks,” Khan said in a tweet.

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“After 40 years of conflict, this inclusiveness will ensure peace and stability of Afghanistan, which is in the interest of not only Afghanistan, but also the region,” he said.

Khan did not say what form his dialogue would take or explain his plans.

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