A  Taliban spokesman said on Tuesday Women will be expected to wear the hijab but not the burqa,  amid fears that women would be repressed under them. Last time when they were in power in Afghanistan, the Taliban had placed severe restrictions on women’s rights, including making full burqa compulsory.

The burqa is a full-body  that is worn over other garments, with a mesh screen over the eyes. Shaheen, however, did not specify what other types of headscarves would be acceptable.

The Taliban pledge a secure Afghanistan as part of a public relations campaign aimed at persuading world powers and a fearful population that they have reformed .

Suhail Shaheen told Britain’s Sky News “The burqa is not the only hijab  that  be observed, there is different types of hijab not limited to burqa,”.

Kabul reporter Clarissa Ward say , a Taliban commander Assad Massoud Khistani about the attire that women are expected to wear. Women, he said, can continue their education, but with Islamic hijab.

Zabihullah Mujahid, the Taliban’s main spokesman, said women would be allowed to work and study and “will be very active in society but within the framework of Islam”.

When pressed, however, the commander said that women would have to cover their face as well because “it is in Islam.” Taliban leaders had said they would respect the rights of women in the country within the framework of Islamic law.

Under the miltant’s hardline  rule  1996-2001, guided by sharia religious law, the Taliban had stopped women from working. Girls were not allowed to go to school and women had to wear all-enveloping burqas to go out and then only.

Afghan girls’ education activist Pashtana Durrani, 23, was wary of Taliban promises. she told Reuters, “They have to walk the talk. Right now they are not doing that”.

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