Pakistan raises concerns over Taliban government fresh restrictions against women

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Pakistan raises concerns over Taliban government fresh restrictions against women

ISLAMABAD – Federal Minister for Information Fawad Chaudhry hit out at the Taliban-led administration in Afghanistan over latest restrictions on women, calling them “extremist” and “retrogressive” thinking, which poses “danger” to Pakistan.

The Afghan Taliban authorities on Sunday put limits on women travelling alone, stating that those traveling for more than 45 miles (72 kilometers) should not be offered a ride if they are not accompanied by a close male relative.

Afghanistan’s Ministry for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice has issued the guidance, also urging owners of transport companies to offer rides only to women wearing hijabs.

Addressing a ceremony in Islamabad, Pakistani information minister said that two “extremist regimes” had emerged on the two sides of Pakistan, referring to Afghanistan, where the Taliban regained power in mid-August and India where Narendra Modi-led Hindu nationalist government is in power.

“On one side there is Afghanistan where the Taliban have arrived [in power]. We want to fully help the people of Afghanistan, but to say over there that women can’t travel alone or go to school, go to college, this kind of retrogressive thinking is a danger for Pakistan,” Arab News quoted the information minister as saying.

He said that Pakistan’s biggest battle is with these “two types of extremist thinking.”

The information minister’s comment comes as Pakistan is calling on the world to recognise the Taliban government in Afghanistan and extend aid to them amid the looming humanitarian crisis.

The Taliban have been under pressure from the international community, who have been raising concerns about women's rights in the country.