Taliban supreme leader addresses major gathering in Kabul | Taliban News

Mullah Haibatullah Akhunzada, the reclusive supreme chief of the Taliban, has attended a significant gathering of non secular leaders and elders in Afghanistan’s capital, Kabul.

Greater than 3,000 males had been anticipated to attend the three-day gathering that began on Thursday in Kabul’s Polytechnic College and is predicted to rubber-stamp the Taliban’s rule over Afghanistan.

The arrival on Friday of Akhunzada, who had not been filmed or photographed in public for the reason that group returned to energy in August final yr, was broadcast on state radio. Cheers and chants, together with “Lengthy reside the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan”, the Taliban’s title for the nation, had been heard.

“The success of the Afghan jihad is just not solely a supply of pleasure for Afghans but additionally for Muslims everywhere in the world,” Akhunzada stated in a speech, in accordance with state-run Bakhtar Information Company, utilizing the Arabic phrase signifying a non secular battle.

He additionally reportedly stated the world ought to cease telling the Taliban tips on how to run the nation.

“Why is the world interfering in our affairs?” he was quoted as saying. “They are saying ‘why don’t you do that, why don’t you do this?’ Why does the world intervene in our work?”

Akhunzada additionally supplied prayers for the victims of a strong earthquake final month that killed greater than 1,000 folks within the nation’s east.

The looks of Akhunzada had been rumoured for days – though media had been barred from overlaying the occasion.

Akhunzada, who’s believed to be in his 70s and bears the title “Commander of the Devoted,” hardly ever leaves Kandahar, the Taliban’s birthplace and non secular heartland. Other than one undated {photograph} and several other audio recordings of speeches, he has nearly no digital footprint.

The chief’s presence raised the safety alert. On Thursday, two gunmen had been shot lifeless close to the venue. Officers stated the 2 began firing from a rooftop however had been “rapidly eradicated by mujahideen with the assistance of Allah the almighty”.

Girls weren’t allowed to participate within the assembly, though media reviews recommend the reopening of women’ colleges will probably be mentioned.

Deputy Prime Minister Abdul Salam Hanafi advised state broadcaster RTA on Wednesday that male delegates would symbolize girls. “When their sons are within the gathering it means that also they are concerned,” he stated.

The Taliban has saved an entire lock on decision-making since taking on the nation and touted the gathering as a discussion board to listen to a variety of voices on points dealing with Afghanistan.

Deputy Taliban chief and appearing Inside Minister Sirajuddin Haqqani additionally addressed the assembly on Friday, saying the world was demanding inclusive authorities and training, and the problems wanted time.

“This gathering is about belief, interplay, we’re right here to make our future in accordance with Islam and to nationwide pursuits,” he stated.

The Taliban notably didn’t name the gathering a Loya Jirga – a standard Afghan method for native leaders to have their grievances heard by rulers – as a substitute titling it “the Nice Convention of Ulema”, the time period in Islam for non secular students and clerics.

The assembly comes as finance and central financial institution officers from the Taliban-led authorities are assembly US officers in Qatar to debate financial and help points following the June 22 earthquake.

Overstretched help teams already protecting thousands and thousands of Afghans alive rushed provides to the quake victims, however most international locations responded tepidly to Taliban requires worldwide assist.

The worldwide cut-off of Afghanistan’s financing has deepened the nation’s financial collapse and fuelled its humanitarian crises. Thousands and thousands within the nation depend on worldwide help to have sufficient meals to reside.

Who’s Haibatullah Akhunzada?

Akhunzada rose from a low profile to chief of the Taliban in a swift transition of energy after a 2016 US drone strike killed his predecessor, Mullah Akhtar Mansoor.

Because the Taliban motion unveiled its interim authorities in September, after US-led overseas forces withdrew and a US-backed authorities collapsed, Akhunzada retained the position he has held since 2016 of supreme chief, the group’s final authority.

Earlier this yr, the Taliban’s supreme chief banned women after sixth grade from attending faculty and issued a decree requiring girls in public to cowl themselves utterly, besides for his or her eyes.

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