New Delhi: Many Afghans who hoped that the Taliban would reform their extreme views amid ongoing talks with the Afghan Government and the US troop withdrawal have been disappointed by the new severe restrictions imposed on the local population in some of the districts recently captured by the militant group, a media report said.

Several residents of Balkh, a district in Balkh that is located 20 km north of the provincial capital, Mazar-e-Sharif, confirmed to the Voice of America (VOA) that the Taliban have distributed leaflets, ordering locals to follow strict rules that are similar to those they imposed on Afghans when they last governed the country from 1996 to 2001.

“They want to impose the restrictions that were imposed on women under their rule,” said Nahida, a 34-year-old resident of Balkh district, adding that the restrictions targeting women include “not leaving our houses without a male companion and wearing hijab”.

Nahida, who requested to be identified by her pseudonym due to safety concerns, said the group’s new restrictions will be difficult for women to follow “since many of them are the breadwinners of their families and they have to work outside”.

According to the Afghan government, about 30 per cent of the civil servants are now women who were not allowed to work outside their homes during the Taliban’s rule.

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