The Taliban militant group says Afghans who used to work with foreign forces as interpreters have nothing to fear after the withdrawal of foreign troops if they "show remorse.”
The Taliban made the announcement after many Afghan translators working alongside US and NATO troops demonstrated in the capital, Kabul, demanding foreign forces and embassies that they worked with help them leave the country a head of US President Joe Biden's September 11 withdrawal deadline.
The Afghan translators said they were afraid the Taliban would “take revenge” on them since they were seen as US agents and spies.
"They shall not be in any danger on our part," the Taliban said in a statement.
The militant group “would like to inform all the above people that they should show remorse for their past actions and must not engage in such activities in the future that amount to treason against Islam and the country," the statement added.
The Taliban went on to say that while Afghan translators were viewed as foes when they worked with foreign forces, they will not face any issues "when they abandon enemy ranks and …should not remain fearful."
The Taliban had said last week that they would provide a "safe environment" for foreign embassies to work in Afghanistan even after foreign troops leave the country.
The assurance by the group came after Australia closed its mission in Kabul and said it will not be able to guarantee security once foreign troops pull out.
The embassy said an “increasingly uncertain security environment” had made it too unsafe for embassy staff to be based in Afghanistan.
The US and its allies overthrew the Taliban regime shortly after the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan. But US forces have remained bogged down there through the presidencies of George W. Bush, Barack Obama, Donald Trump, and now Joe Biden.
All foreign troops were supposed to have been withdrawn by May 1, as part of an agreement that the US had reached with the Taliban in the Qatari capital last year. But Biden last month pushed that date back to September 11.
The Taliban warned that the passing of the May 1 deadline for a complete withdrawal “opened the way for” the militants to take every counteraction they deemed appropriate against foreign forces in the county.