The Taliban on Tuesday declared that no threat will be posed to any country from Afghanistan as the group took charge of the strife-torn country following a shockingly rapid collapse of its democratic government with the departure of most western troops.
"The Islamic emirate is pledging to all world countries that no threat will be posed to any country from Afghanistan," Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told reporters at their first press conference in Kabul in which he announced an Islamic government will be established in Afghanistan soon.
"We want to establish a government that includes all sides," he said, adding that they want an end to the war.
"We don't want any internal or external enemies. We do not have enmity toward anyone and based on our leader's orders we have pardoned everyone," he said.
Zabihullah Mujahid said there will be no retribution against anyone, including former military members and those who worked with the foreign forces. "No one will search their house," he said.
However, he said, "Afghans have the right to apply rules that match the people's values; therefore, other countries should respect these rules."
Claiming that there will be no discrimination against women, the Taliban spokesperson said they are committed to providing women their rights based on Islam. Women can work in the health sector and other sectors "where they are needed", he said.
He also said the Taliban wants all media outlets to continue their activities. "We have three suggestions: No broadcast should contradict Islamic values, they should be impartial, no one should broadcast anything that goes against our national interests," he said.
The Taliban news conference came as the United States and Western allies evacuated diplomats and civilians the day after scenes of chaos at Kabul airport as Afghans desperate to flee the Taliban thronged to the terminal.
Afghan First Vice President Amrullah Saleh meanwhile said he was in the country and declared himself the "legitimate caretaker president" and that he would not bow to Kabul's new rulers.