Taliban prepared to withdraw ban on girls' education in Afghanistan: Education Minister

Kabul, Jan 14 (ANI): Afghanistan's Education Minister, Farooq Wardak, has claimed that the Taliban leadership is no longer against female education, and is prepared to withdraw its ban on girls' schools.

The Guardian quoted Wardak as saying that the militant leadership has undergone a "behavioural change" since the 1990s, when the ban on female education earned them a bad reputation worldwide.

He also said that the group went through a profound change since losing power after the US-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001.

"It is attitudinal change, it is behavioural change, it is cultural change," he told the Times Educational Supplement. What I am hearing at the very upper policy level of the Taliban is that they are no more opposing education and also girls' education," the paper quoted Wardak, as saying.

The minister, one of President Hamid Karzai's close associates, has reportedly played a crucial role in bringing the Taliban to peace talks.

However, the Taliban has not conformed Wardak's claims as of now.

Meanwhile a leading Taliban analyst Alex Strick van Linschoten, has said that the Taliban would not likely announce such a decision.

"They are unlikely to announce things like this since it will all come up in any potential negotiations and this is one 'concession' they could make to the foreigners," Linschoten added.

If the acclaimed decision is implemented, it would a sign of relief particularly for the western countries who fear that any peace deal with the insurgent group could undermine rights of women in that country, the paper said.

Since 1990s, the Taliban has brought about many changes in the views, including acceptance of mobile phones and video technologies that were earlier considered un-Islamic by them, it added. (ANI)

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