KABUL (Reuters) - Want to know why the Afghan Taliban opened talks with the United States even though they have fought the world’s most advanced military to a virtual stalemate or prospects for girls’ schools if they regain power? Go online and post your question.
The Taliban have opened an online forum on their website, called “Your questions and Zabihullah Mujahid’s answers” where readers are invited to leave queries for their spokesman to answer.
One of the burning issues of the moment is the Taliban’s secret dialogue with the United States, their sworn enemy whose forces they have vowed to drive out of Afghanistan.
Questioner Ahmad Ahsan said Taliban supporters had long trusted the leadership but a proposal to open an office in Qatar for talks with foreigners was causing disquiet.
“We have always believed in our leaders and elders. Now we are restless in our minds,” Ahsan wrote in the Pashto language.
Mujahid defended the decision, saying the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan - the name the Taliban use for their movement - was led by Mullah Omar, a “person who had proved himself to the world” and that was enough.
He said the Taliban remained steadfast in their objectives.
“Leave the rest to Allah and pray,” he wrote.
A female, Madiha Khalid from Germany, asked what would happen to girls’ schools if the Taliban came back. The Taliban banned girls from school during their hardline rule.
But Mujahid blamed a lack of funds to ensure girls’ schools were run according to Islamic tenets.
“We want our mothers and sisters to have education according to Islamic framework,” he said.
The Taliban have made extensive use of the Internet to spread their message. Mujahid told another questioner that the group kept a close eye on Facebook, YouTube and scoured the media for reports about them.
“We try to look at everything that gets published and then announce our position.”
Additional reporting by Mirwais Harooni; Editing by Jack Kimball and Robert Birsel