Susanna Reid confronts Taliban over ‘hit list’ during GMB interview
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Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen rejected claims the organisation had been leading punitive actions against Afghans who collaborated with Western countries over the past 20 years. Good Morning Britain host Susanna Reid confronted the insurgents’ spokesman with a list of reported crimes committed against former local aides, suggesting the group now has a “priority list” for killing people.
The GMB presenter said: “A leaked United Nations’ report said the group have a priority lists of individuals it wants to arrest and is threatening to kill or arrest family members if the wanted don’t give themselves up.
“A former Government’s spokesperson was killed by the Taliban a few weeks ago as punishment for his deeds. Sources have confirmed Taliban fighters a few weeks ago executed two senior police officials.
“The former security police officer in the southwestern province of Farah was fatally shot. At least a dozen former provincial officials of the Ghani Government have been detained around the country.
“How is that not retaliation and revenge for those who worked with the former Government or for those who worked with Western forces?”
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Mr Shaheen rejected the allegations of violence, reiterating the Taliban’s commitment to giving amnesty to anyone who worked with the West.
He said: “There is no retaliation, that is our policy.
“We have granted a general amnesty to all those who were working with foreign forces. And there is no hit list that is circulated or appears in the media.”
Confronted once again with the reports, he disassociated his organisation claiming rogue insurgents had been trying to “malign” the Taliban.
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Mr Shaheen also confirmed his group will not prevent those Afghans seeking to leave the country in the coming months from departing.
He said: “Every Afghan student, if he or she is intending to go abroad, to another country, and has the proper documents, they can go.
“And they can also come to Afghanistan. But we urge them to stay in Afghanistan as we’ve gained our independence.
“It is time for every Afghan to build their country. Their capacities, their talents are direly needed at this crucial time in Afghanistan.
“But if they intend to go, to travel abroad, that is their right.”
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Former minister Nusrat Ghani admitted she does not believe the Taliban have changed.
The Conservative MP for Wealden told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “Their ideology is the same.
“They’re engaged in a never-ending war against unbelievers and apostates, and their one desire, and their one desire only, is to establish a caliphate that has no room for women and girls.”
Ms Ghani said she is trying to help a number of women and girls and is currently focused on female MPs and judges.
She said she was on the phone on Tuesday with a female parliamentarian who has been vocal in pushing back the Taliban’s ideology and fighting against extremism and corruption.
“She’s been told that she will be killed if the Taliban get hold of her,” she said, adding that she is in her third safe place and desperately running out of food and money.
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