Ampang MP Zuraida Kamaruddin described the Taliban’s previous rule in Afghanistan before it was overthrown by the US as “extreme and backward” and called for international pressure to ensure that the group, which has regained power, will not return to such policies.
In contrast, PAS hailed the Taliban’s return in Afghanistan, which it claimed is “moderate” and is gaining the people’s acceptance.
Zuraida, from Bersatu, said she had personally witnessed the Taliban’s oppression of women in Afghanistan.
“While we disagree with US imperialism, we are also worried about Afghanistan’s future, particularly for women who were previously oppressed by the Taliban.
“Every country should be governed by its own people and foreign powers should not interfere. However, when the government of a country holds to an ideology that is too extreme, the global community has a responsibility to defend the rights of women and girls.
“We cannot deny that the Taliban’s governance of Afghanistan 20 years ago was a backward government that rejected development, particularly on the development and empowerment of women and children,” he said.
Zuraida said she participated in a humanitarian mission to Afghanistan in 2002.
“I saw for myself the condition of women and girls in the country. Women are generally treated as second-class citizens and their rights denied by the (Taliban) government,” she said.
However, she said there were “rays of hope” as the Taliban said it will now allow girls to remain in schools.
The Taliban’s policy of preventing girls from getting an education was reversed after it was overthrown in 2001.
Zuraida said the international community must ensure the Taliban does not reinstate extremist policies which she said was not according to Islam.
Meanwhile, PAS’ organ Harakahdaily, in an article titled “Taliban’s moderate image being accepted by the people”, quoted the Islamist party’s international affairs and foreign relations bureau chief Muhammad Khalil Abdul Hadi describing the Taliban as “very moderate”.
Khalil said the Taliban’s “moderation” can be seen by its promise to protect women’s rights and allow them to work.
“Girls can be seen starting the schooling session and the Taliban has also invited countries in the world to aid the country.
“The Taliban’s action has succeeded in giving them a positive image. Many countries view the Taliban positively even though there is still a lot of doubt.
“However, looking at the situation in Afghanistan and Kabul, it can be seen that the Taliban managed to reduce the negative perception towards it,” he was quoted as saying.
Khalil, who is the son of PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang, previously got into trouble with Facebook and Twitter after he congratulated the Taliban for its return to power.
International reports say thousands of Afghans are stranded at Kabul airport as they try to leave the country.