Taliban Needs Time for Women’s Issue, Says Indonesian Ambassador

Indonesian Ambassador to Afghanistan Arief Rachman. (Photo: Abdullah/MINA)

Jakarta, MINA – Responding to the issue of concern over the fulfillment of the rights and freedoms of Afghan women in various accesses under the Taliban government, the Indonesian Ambassador to Afghanistan Arief Rachman said that currently the Taliban still needs time.

“Certainly. There is no doubt that there will be changes and to note this process takes time, it can’t be as easy as turning your palms and then happening. Moreover, it has to do with the Shari’a and one’s beliefs. We can’t force it, we can’t. We also have to understand, if you insist who are we?” he said in an exclusive interview with the MINA News Agency’s Ambassador Talk Team at his residence on Saturday.

“In the past, the Taliban was propagated as something cruel and far from women, of course it is not completely like that, because indeed in a state of war, we Muslims are always more concerned about women and afraid that if our women are injured and then become victims of war, which should not be allowed, especially children. Well, it was then exploited so that the world that already understood the importance of the role of women was shocked by this, even though there are circumstances that require it. Their Shari’a according to their sect is different from ours and yes, it was adjusted to the situation,” said Arief.

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“When it’s safe, insha Allah. I think they have daughters who also need to go to school, they want female patients to be treated by female doctors, then who are the female doctors from?” he insisted.

He revealed, regarding certain rules for women themselves not only in Afghanistan but also in Pakistan, Muslims in India as well as Saudi Arabia.

“Indonesia used to be like that too, there were no women’s schools so that in the end people slowly understood the process so it didn’t cause slander and negative issues. We have to be smart and be able to see the situations and who is speaking. Don’t add to the confusion, let alone don’t want to ask questions, don’t want to learn, so that we will become slanderers too,” he added.

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Arief also revealed that Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi and she were the ones who continued to voice the importance of the role of women in peace. Since 2013 Indonesia and Afghanistan have had an MoU regarding the empowerment of Afghan women.

“If someone says it’s the previous government, not the Taliban. This MoU is state to state not only with the government but for the entire Afghan community and what we are doing is spreading and being heard, the Taliban people also know that,” he explained.

Previously, the Taliban’s Ministry of Education ordered male teachers and students back into secondary schools, without telling girls to do the same. The move later sparked international condemnation.

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A Taliban spokesman later said women would return to classes “as soon as possible”.

Responding to this, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan in an interview with BBC Tv also said Afghan women would “assert their rights” from time to time, but it was “too early” to judge conditions under Taliban rule. (T/RE1)

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)