Recently, the situation in Afghanistan has changed dramatically.
On August 15, local time, the Afghan Taliban entered the capital Kabul and claimed control of the presidential palace, the same day Afghan President Asif Ghani announced that he had left Afghanistan. Recently, The Afghan Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid appeared, for many years in secret action to lift the mystery …
The press conference, which had been scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. local time on the 17th, was eventually postponed by nearly 40 minutes, with the lobby of the Kabul Media Center full of cameramen whispering to each other about the family as they debugged the machines behind the hall.
When I entered, I seemed to see some Western-faced reporters, but there was no Western media microphone on the podium.
Afghan government spokesman Dawahan Menapal, who had often held press conferences here, was assassinated at a gathering on Friday, more than a decade ago. Zabihullah Mujahid, a spokesman for the Afghan Taliban, later claimed responsibility for the incident, which he led at today’s press conference.
As everyone waited anxiously, Mujahid walked down the stairs from the left side of the podium, surrounded by a group of unarmed Taliban members, with a smile on his face, and sat in what was supposed to be Menapar’ seat.
All the media at the scene were staring at him, and most people saw the face for the first time. As the most important person in the Taliban propaganda system, Mujahid has been acting in secret for years, making occasional phone calls to media reporters.
Zabihullah means “sacrifice of Allah” in Arabic. Few people in the Arabian Peninsula, the birthplace of Islam, take such a name, but it is also common in some areas of Afghanistan where Islamic fundamentalism is prevalent.
The speaker has long been deeply aware of the “role” and there have even been suspicions that a team is playing the role. In early 2009, a man claiming to be Mujahid gave an interview to CNN with his back to the camera. Dramatically, after the show aired, another man claiming to be Mujahid contacted reporters, claiming that the interviewee was a fake.
The mystery was so great that even though he had already begun to speak on stage, there were still reporters whispering that the face did not seem to match the sound he had heard on the Internet for 14 years.
The press conference lasted about 45 minutes. Although Pashtun is mostly used on social media, the reaction from the scene suggests that Mujahid is basically able to understand English, but he did not answer any questions in English, only occasionally repeating “One One…”, reminding every reporter that only one question can be asked.
Organizations that have been doddled for nearly two decades have had enough access to the world through a well-developed modern media, but little is known about the closed Taliban. Mujahid held the press conference three days after the Taliban entered the city, hoping to open a window to the outside world.
Some reporters said that Mujahid was quick and positive in answering questions, but in his words revealed a lack of preparation for taking control of the country so quickly. The speaker was somewhat vague about women’s rights, especially whether women would be able to work in the media in the future.
The only female reporter at the scene was very visible
Some journalists kept asking whether Afghanistan would repeat the “Islamic Emirate” regime of the last Taliban regime. Mujahid did not give a clear answer, but repeatedly expressed his desire for an “inclusive Islamic government acceptable to all” and stressed that no retaliation would be taken against anyone who had opposed the Taliban.
At the end of the press conference, an Afghan reporter asked, “What do you think of the government spokesman assassinated by the Taliban?” Mujahid seemed hesitant in his eyes, but calmed down in an instant. He replied that the families of Taliban members had suffered, and that although many were very unfortunate, “it was a war”.