The phrases have tripped off the tongues of Taliban for quite some time.
“We’re working to establish an inclusive government that represents all the people of Afghanistan,” promised Taliban leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar when he recently arrived in Kabul to start talks aimed at forming a leadership to move the movement from guns to government.
“We would like to live peacefully,” vowed Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid at the first press conference in the capital after the Taliban suddenly swept into power on 15 August. “We don’t want any internal enemies and any external enemies.”
Judge them by their actions, not their words, has become the mantra of a fast-expanding league of Taliban watchers including Afghans, foreign governments, humanitarian chiefs and political pundits the world over.
But Afghans are watching most closely of all. They have to.