First Afghan elders’ assembly to be held under Taliban regime

Kabul, Jun 29 (EFE).- Thousands of Islamic scholars, academicians and Tribal elders of Afghanistan are set to gather on Thursday for a three-day grand assembly (Loya Jirga) in Kabul, the first event of its kind since the Taliban seized power in August.

“Tomorrow, a large gathering of Afghan scholars will be held in the Loya Jirga hall. All necessary measures have been taken to hold the meeting, which is being organized at the request of the Ulema (Islamic scholars),” the Afghan government’s deputy spokesperson Bilal Karimi tweeted.

Around 3,000 students as well as religious and tribal leaders from across the country have been invited for the event, according to state news agency Bakhter.

The gathering was convened after several religious representatives and members of the civil society urged the Taliban to hold this assembly to discuss the future of the country under the Islamists.

Many Afghans have demanded a more inclusive government with representation of different political, ethnic and social groups, apart from urging the Taliban to respect the social progress and symbolism developed over the last two decades following the United States’ invasion.

However, the fundamentalist group has established a government largely consisting of religious leaders and members of the organization – most of them belonging to the Pashtun community – with hardly any representation for other ethnic or social groups, including women.

The international community has also repeatedly stressed the need for an inclusive regime in Afghanistan that respects women’s rights and human rights in general, making it a pre-condition for international recognition.

Several political leaders of the pre-Taliban era following the 2001 invasion, such as Abdullah Abdullah and former president Hamid Karzai, had earlier appealed to the Taliban to hold a grand assembly and allow people to discuss the county’s future.

The Loya Jirga was held on several occasions by the previous government to seek counsel on important decisions about the nation.

It was a Loya Jirga in 2020 that advised the now ousted government to free hundreds of Taliban prisoners in order to kick off a peace dialog. EFE


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