Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, said on Tuesday that the Government of Canada has “no plans” to recognize the Taliban as Afghanistan’s government following the terrorist organization’s rapid march across Afghanistan which culminated in Afghanistan’s capital, Kabul, falling to the insurgents on Sunday.
Trudeau, while on the campaign trail after calling a snap election on Sunday said, “Canada has no plans to recognize the Taliban as the government of Afghanistan. When they were in government 20 years ago, Canada did not recognize them.” adding that “[The Taliban] have taken over and replaced a duly elected democratic government by force… They are a recognized terrorist organization under Canadian law.”
Previously, Trudeau said that Canada “firmly condemns” the violence unfolding in Afghanistan and is working with allies in the U.K. and U.S. to determine an approach for what comes next.
Canada has pledged that special immigration measures will be enacted for Afghan nationals, and their families, who have significant and/or enduring relationships with the Government of Canada, according to a Government of Canada website.
“Canada will implement a program focused on vulnerable Afghan nationals outside of Afghanistan, including women leaders, human rights advocates, LGBTI individuals, journalists, immediate family members of individuals in Canada and extended family members of previously resettled interpreters.” the site states.
Afghani’s seeking refuge in Canada do not need to currently be in Afghanistan to be eligible to have an application processed for admission into the country.
On Tuesday, Taliban insurgents held their first press conference since taking power in which they declared “amnesty” for government officials and vowed to uphold women’s rights under Islamic law.
This “softened” approach came as a shock to many; however women in Afghanistan have plenty of reasons to remain skeptical.
Prior to the U.S.-led invasion in 2001, women virtually had no rights under the Taliban’s oppressive rule.
Women were forced to quit their jobs and stay home and lost all access to education and health care while enduring high rates of illiteracy and maternal mortality.
Zabihullah Mujahid, a spokesman for the Taliban, said that while they were working to form a government, “nobody will be harmed.”