Kabul, June 30 (EFE).- A brief gunfire triggered chaos at a grand assembly of religious scholars from across Afghanistan on Thursday, the first such gathering hosted by the de facto Taliban government since it took over in August last year.
Gunshots could be heard in a social media video purportedly recorded from the event at the Loya Jirga hall in Kabul.
The gunfire continued for several minutes at the event that was closed to the media and had no woman participants.
Taliban spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid the security forces opened fire at a suspected person and the situation was “under control.”
The Taliban government has not shared the agenda of the three-day meeting that is expected to be attended by around 3,000 religious scholars and tribal elders from across the country.
The meeting takes place as the economic situation in Afghanistan worsens and assets worth billions of dollars have been blocked by western nations led by the United States.
Following the Taliban takeover, the US and several of its western allies imposed restrictions on the Afghan banking sector.
On the first day of the meeting, Prime Minister Malavi Mohammad Hassan Akhund sought the support of religious scholars to “strengthen the Islamic government” in Afghanistan.
He said that the administration was working to find solutions for the problems that the war-battered Afghans faced.
“The Islamic Emirate is making efforts to address the grievances of the people,” he said.
Share your issues with the government, the prime minister said, and “we will make efforts to fix them.”
The event resembled a traditional Afghan “loya jirga,” when elders convene to make decisions.
Such a summit was conducted by the country’s then-president Ashraf Ghani in May 2019 with the participation of around 3,200 lawmakers and representatives from various ethnic, religious, and tribal groups.
The Taliban agreed to conduct the meeting on Thursday to talk about Afghanistan’s future under the Taliban administration after civil society groups and various religious leaders pushed them to do so.
Several religious scholars in their speeches emphasized unity and the strengthening of the Taliban government.
The Taliban have been under fire from civil society groups for not inviting women to the consultative conference in Kabul.
A delegate from Bamiyan, Nasrullah Waezi, reportedly demanded the reopening of schools for girls over the sixth grade, according to local channel TOLOnews.
Girl students above Class 6 have not been to school since the Taliban seized power in Kabul on Aug.15 last year, even as primary schools for female students have been allowed.
Education and employment rights of women have always been one of the main demands of the international community to recognize the Taliban rule in Afghanistan.
The Taliban had stated that they would permit girls in grades above six to return to school on March 23, the opening day of the Afghan school year following the winter vacation, with the condition that their classrooms would be gender-segregated and that only women would teach them.