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Friday, October 22, 2021

Global Muslim scholars union urges Taliban to establish ‘fair rule’

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US, Turkish officials met at the NATO Military Committee Conference in Greece on Sunday.

The International Union of Muslim Scholars [IUMS] urged the Taliban to establish fair rule in Afghanistan during a meeting between the Qatar-based body and members of the group in Doha.

The union’s Secretary-General Ali Al-Qaradagi told Al Araby Al Jadeed on Monday that members of the Taliban’s political office in Qatar expressed their willingness “to establish an Islamic rule that is committed to Islamic principles and is open to new experiences”.

Al-Qaradagi said that a delegation from the IUMS may visit Afghanistan in the future, noting that the Taliban delegation in Qatar and the union reached an agreement over holding mutual consultations and more meetings.

“We received from the delegation a written letter from the Acting Afghan Prime Minister Mullah Muhammad Hassan Akhund…and in which he responded to what we asked in our letter of the necessity of adhering to good governance and serving the Afghan people with all its components,” Al-Qaradagi told the Doha-based media outlet.

Al-Qaradagi said the Taliban “agree in principle” that women and girls have the right to work and receive education “but after creating the right conditions”.

The IUMS official said the Taliban provided a “positive response” to their request of having Afghan women play a role in the country’s governance.

Despite promises of ensuring that all females have access to education and work, recent reports have confirmed girls in Afghanistan are being prevented from returning to schools.

Similarly, women employees at Kabul’s municipal government have been told to stay home.

The new interim government comprises of members of the Taliban and its Haqqani loyalists and does not include members of the former Afghan administration or individuals without links to the group.

Women have also been excluded.

“The union also presented a project for political development through conferences and seminars. There was a response, acceptance and understanding of this offer by the [Taliban] delegation, and we are optimistic and await them,” said Al-Qaradagi.

The Taliban also told the union that it needs more time to form the inclusive government they have promised to establish since capturing control of the country on 15 August.

NATO meeting

Meanwhile, Turkey’s Chief of General Staff Yasar Guler met with US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley in Greece during the NATO Military Committee Conference.

The two officials discussed the “multiple items of mutual security interest” as well as the Afghanistan withdrawal.

Regional security, counter-terrorism operations, refugee and the avoidance of a humanitarian crisis were also among the areas of discussion.

A sudden decision by the Biden administration to exit Afghanistan without an adequate plan pushed US and NATO troops into a hasty withdrawal that led to chaotic scenes in August. This led to swift territorial gains by the Taliban which culminated with the capture of Kabul on 15 August.

Blinken grilled over ‘fatally flawed’ Afghanistan withdrawal

 

Last week, the US Senate grilled Secretary of State Antony Blinken for Washington’s handling of the Afghanistan troop withdrawal.

Blinken testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee following a second day of interrogation from Republican lawmakers who have long criticised the Biden administration for the hasty withdrawal that also led to chaos at Hamid Karzai International Airport.

New Jersey Democrat Bob Mendez even threatened to subpoena Defence Minister Lloyd Austin along with other members of the administration, describing the US and NATO troop withdrawal as “fatally flawed”.

The Democrat also vowed to hold multiple members of the administration accountable for lying about the situation in Afghanistan and the readiness of the former government to fight the Taliban.

Qatar has rushed to evacuate tens of thousands of Afghans and foreigners while allowing the US and other western allies to move embassies from Kabul to Doha.

Since last month, Doha has managed to evacuate more than 50,000 people while working on ensuring the airport in Kabul is operational again for those wishing to leave the country using regular passenger flights.


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