KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 20 — Former minister Datuk Zuraida Kamaruddin said she would be willing to visit Afghanistan to guide the Taliban on women’s rights and empowerment.

Saying the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan would undeniably lead to hostility towards progress and women’s rights there, she then suggested that other Muslim countries also send missions to educate the Islamist organisation on women’s empowerment.

“In fact, progressive Muslim countries around the world should also send representatives among their female leaders to Afghanistan to help with the country’s women’s empowerment agenda.

“Should this opportunity arise, I would be interested to be in Afghanistan to assist in guiding the government and the people of Afghanistan in women’s development and empowerment.

“As a modernising Islamic country, there are many things we can share with them, especially on how to optimize the role of women in administration, politics, education, economics and social, which are in line with the true teachings of Islam,” she said in a statement.

Zuraida admitted that such a mission would be challenging, but argued that it was an obligation to try and ensure there would be acceptable pathways for Afghani women and girls.

The Taliban seized control of Afghanistan after a 20 year absence this month, following the full withdrawal of US troops that had occupied the country following a retaliatory invasion sparked by the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack on their country.

In the Taliban’s first news conference since taking control of the country on Sunday, a spokesman said women would be free to work but gave little detail about other rules and restrictions.