Committed to all ‘sharia rights’ of women: Taliban supreme leader
Kabul, Apr 29 (EFE).- Taliban supreme leader Hibatullah Akhundzada Friday said the Islamist regime in Afghanistan was committed to all rights of men and women per the sharia law, urging the world not to use the “humanitarian and emotional issue as a tool for political ends.”
“We respect and are committed to all the sharia rights of men and women in Afghanistan, no one should worry about it,” Akhundzada said in his message on the eve of Eid, the Muslim festival that marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan.
The Taliban leader, known as the leader of the faithful or Amir ul Momineen, said compared to the last 20 years, Afghans now enjoy more of their rights like life, security, and dignity that “cannot be ignored.”
However, the international community has criticized and not officially recognized the de facto Afghan government because of curbs against women, like not allowing women to work and girls to go to school beyond sixth grade.
Schools were supposed to reopen to older girls in late March, the start of the new school year.
But the Taliban reneged on its pledge to allow all girls to attend classes, saying it was framing new rules according to their strict interpretation of the Islamic code.
The Taliban diktats on women sparked concerns that the Islamist rulers would impose similar harsh measures and restrictions liken when they previously ruled the country from 1996 to 2001.
Akhundzada has not been seen in public even after the Taliban’s Aug.5 takeover of the country, barring once when he made a rare appearance in the southern city of Kandahar in October last.
The reclusive leader, in his traditional Eid message, said Afghanistan was celebrating the festival this year as “our country is completely free of foreign invasion.”
“After 43-year, the long lasting and devastating war has finally ended and now under the shade of Islamic rule, the ground has been prepared for a peaceful and prosperous life in Afghanistan,” he said.
He urged his countrymen who have fled Afghanistan “to come together and work for the development, prosperity and welfare of their country.”
“The Islamic Emirate (as the Taliban call their government) has granted a general amnesty to all of its oppositions and has implemented it in practice. On the basis of this amnesty, I once again invite all Afghans to come to their country and live peacefully.”
He invited domestic and foreign investors to invest in Afghanistan and assured them that his government would “cooperate with you and will provide all necessary means and facilities.”
He said the Taliban advocated “positive relations with the countries of the region and the world.”
“We allow none to pose a threat to other countries from Afghanistan and we also want other countries to engage with us on mutual respect.”
He also recalled that poppy cultivation and all types of narcotics were “strictly prohibited” in Afghanistan, urging the Afghans to respect and obey the decree as the “continuation of such act threatens the lives of millions of our countrymen.” EFE