- Sirajudin Haqqani, a secretive Taliban leader, spoke to CNN in an on-camera interview aired Tuesday.
- He said "good news" is in store for Afghan girls who want to attend secondary school.
- At the same time, he joked that the Taliban wants to "keep naughty women at home."
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The Taliban's acting interior minister told CNN on Tuesday that "good news" was in store for Afghan girls waiting to return to school while also joking that "naughty women" ought to stay home.
"We keep naughty women at home," Sirajuddin Haqqani, leader of the Haqqani Network terror organization, told CNN's Christiane Amanpour in an exclusive on-camera interview.
When asked to clarify his comment, Haqqani said: "By saying naughty women, it was a joke referring to those naughty women who are controlled by some other sides to bring the current government into question."
Soft-spoken and measured, he reiterated the Taliban's past pledge to protect women's rights in work and education — as long as they fall within the organization's interpretation of the Islamic law.
However, these promises have fallen short so far, and the Taliban has faced international condemnation for barring girls from attending secondary school or university.
Haqqani, who is also on the FBI's most-wanted list, said girls in Afghanistan are allowed to attend school up to the sixth grade.
"Above that grade, the work is continuing on a mechanism. Very soon, you will hear very good news about this issue, God willing," he said.
Haqqani's interview with CNN's Amanpour represents a stark change from the once-secretive leader's reclusive nature. It was only in March that he first allowed his face to be photographed in public.
His remarks to Amanpour may help answer why Haqqani is now willing to come out in the open.
"In the future, we would like to have good relations with the United States and the international community," he said, per CNN. "Currently, we do not look at them as enemies."