The political leader of the Taliban has outlined his vision for Afghanistan, one in which women and religious minorities will be given rights in accordance with the movement’s interpretation of Islamic law, and where terror groups will not be given safe haven to carry out attacks abroad.
In a rare interview, Abdul Ghani Baradar on Wednesday described the withdrawal of the U.S. and its allies as being "in the best interests of the American people."
Washington's "longest and most useless war will end, American troops will return home after 20 years, and Afghanistan will get rid of the presence of foreign forces," he said in response to written questions.
The comments come amid the withdrawal of American and allied troops and fears the reinstated Taliban will continue the oppressive, theocratic regime that ended 20 years ago.
Baradar’s insistence that Afghanistan will not become a springboard for terrorist attacks was tested on Thursday when two explosions rocked Kabul airport following warnings by the U.S. and others of an imminent attack.
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said on Twitter that an unspecified number of U.S. service members, as well as a number of Afghans, were killed in what he described as a "complex attack."