Sharia law. What is the Taliban’s plan in Afghanistan

Radicals are trying to change their image and gain recognition from their government. But their promises so far are at odds with their actions.

Return to power in Afghanistan The Taliban terrorist organization has drawn a line under the international project of rebuilding the most backward and conflict-ridden state in the region. Now Afghanistan is returning to the implementation of the national Islamist project.

The Taliban claim they have become more moderate and are even promising women jobs in the new government. However, Afghanistan will live according to Sharia law and will not become a democratic state, the Islamists say. Correspondent.net tells the details.

There will be no democratic system

Soon after the transfer of the Afghan capital, Kabul, under the control of militants, the Taliban announced that they would soon announce the creation of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. This is the name of the country in 1996-2001, when it was under the rule of the Taliban.

On August 19, a Taliban spokesman and a member of the Doha negotiating team, Wardak Alhanafi, said that the Taliban will talk about the future structure of the Afghan government in the next few days.

“All ethnic groups and minorities in Afghanistan will see their representatives in this system. It will be a strong, broad-based centralized system that will govern the entire country,” Alhanafi wrote on his Twitter page.

On the eve of a high-ranking member of the organization Wahidullah Hashimi said that Afghanistan will not become a democratic state and will live according to Sharia law. “There will be no democratic system at all, because it has no foundation in our country,” he said.

Hashimi also noted that there will be no discussions regarding the political system in the state, since it is already obvious: “This is Sharia law, that’s all.” According to him, the structure of power in Afghanistan will be similar to the structure of the state during the previous period of Taliban rule – from 1996 to 2001.

The group’s ideology is based on Salafism, a radical form of Islam. After gaining practical control over the country 20 years ago, the Taliban introduced strict Sharia law, which significantly limited human rights and was especially harsh on girls and women. Violators were subject to corporal punishment or execution.

Girls could not study in schools, and adult women were not allowed to go out without full-body clothing and male attendants. They were forbidden to drive on pain of death, they could not work.

The Taliban have completely banned television, cinemas, all music – with the exception of religious chants – and kite flying, one of Afghans’ favorite pastimes. Men were required to grow a beard, and those who shaved it were imprisoned and held there until the beard grew back.

Radicals were severely punished for crimes: murder and adultery were punishable by death, theft – by amputation of limbs. Under the Taliban, public executions were practiced in Afghanistan and there was a “ministry for the protection of virtue and the prevention of vice.”

After coming to power, the Taliban leadership announced a general amnesty for civil servants and called on all officials to return to their jobs and “to normal life.” The Taliban also pledged not to deprive women of their right to education, work and political participation.

At a press conference on August 17, Taliban spokesman Zabihula Mujahid listed the policy directions of the new Afghan government:

  • Every nation has the right to freedom and independence.

  • No one is allowed to use the territory of Afghanistan for attacks on other countries, including neighboring states.

  • Women’s rights (including education) will be protected within the framework of Sharia.

  • The Taliban are not seeking revenge and are promising pardons even to those who worked for the former regime or foreign forces.

  • Private media should “remain independent” but “should not work against national values.”

  • Interaction with other countries will continue, Afghanistan does not need enemies either inside the country or abroad.

  • The safety of foreign citizens in Afghanistan is guaranteed.

  • Natural resources will be used for the “recovery and prosperity” of the country.

  • Afghanistan intends to eradicate drug trafficking.

The group’s leadership has assured that women will be able to take part in the work of the Afghan government “in accordance with Sharia law,” but what this means is not known exactly.

“The Islamic Emirate does not intend to turn women into victims. According to Sharia law, they must be part of the state system,” AP quoted a statement by a member of the Taliban Cultural Commission Enamullah Samangani.

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He clarified that women will have to cover their faces, but they will be able to leave the house without a man’s accompaniment.

But despite all the assurances of the Taliban, nowadays there are almost no women on the streets of Afghanistan, and their quick return to their usual work looks unlikely.

Reports from the regions suggest that the Taliban’s ideology has remained the same. Dozens of girls’ schools have been closed in the country in recent months. In early August, the UN reported on the mass executions of women, human rights defenders and media workers in the territories occupied by the Taliban.

In just one day, August 18, the Taliban, using force, dispersed a protest rally in the city of Jalalabad, blew up a memorial erected in honor of their longtime enemy, field commander Abdul Ali Mazari, and also managed to execute at least two women who took to the streets without a hijab.

Negotiations are underway to form a new government. In addition to women, seats are also promised to members of the ousted government and national minorities.

The Taliban is being met by a coordinating council set up by three influential representatives of the former Afghan government – Hamid Karzai, Abdullah Abdullah and the head of the Islamic Party, Gulbeddin Hekmatyar. Note that they attended almost all conferences with the Taliban in Moscow.

The radicals are represented by Anas Haqqani, the brother of the Taliban’s deputy supreme leader and the son of one of Afghanistan’s most brutal terrorists, who founded the Haqqani Network, the Taliban’s most effective fighting wing.

In addition, according to media reports, a Taliban delegation from Doha, led by the leader of the Qatari office, Mullah Abdul-Ghani Baradar, arrived in Afghanistan. However, nothing is known about the results, if any.

Simultaneously with the formation of the government and the solution of priority domestic political issues, the Taliban will have to deal with diplomacy. Despite the fact that the actual victory of the militants in Afghanistan is not questioned by anyone in the world, in most countries the group is still considered terrorist.

Therefore, the Taliban now face a difficult task: they need to seriously change their image and gain recognition of their government. Otherwise, they may face international isolation, as was the case in the 1990s.

Against the background of the rapidly deteriorating economic situation in the country, such an alignment does not bode well for the Taliban. Hence the numerous promises and assurances given by the militants at their first press conference after coming to power.

However, the current positions of the new leaders of Afghanistan in the international arena look much more stable than 20 years ago. They enjoy the support of not only Pakistan and several countries of the Persian Gulf.

“US Deal with Pakistan”. Why the Taliban won

The militants have previously established diplomatic contacts with Iran, Turkey and Russia. And the deal with US President Donald Trump actually legitimized the movement in the West as well.

The Taliban are confident that the countries of the world have an obligation to help them rebuild Afghanistan. This was stated by the representative of the militants Suheil Shahin.

“The Prime Minister of Great Britain and all leaders of other countries of the world must respect the wishes of the Afghan people … and help the Afghan people to rebuild the country and ensure a prosperous life for the Afghan people and economic development,” he said on the British Sky News.

“I think this is their responsibility because they have been behind the destruction of Afghanistan for 20 years. So now it is their moral duty to rebuild Afghanistan and help people start a new life in a new chapter for Afghanistan,” he added.

However, Western countries are still in no hurry either with recognition or with help. Moreover, the United States announced that it would block access to the Afghan government’s accounts, which are managed by the Federal Reserve System and other US financial institutions, for radicals.

“Any central bank assets that the Afghan government owns in the US will not be provided to the Taliban,” said a US administration official.

The same decision was announced by the International Monetary Fund. The organization will block more than 400 million from Afghanistan’s central bank reserves held by the US Federal Reserve.

At the same time, the IMF announced that it plans to block access to the 460 million in emergency reserves.

The head of the Central Bank of Afghanistan, Ajmal Ahmadi, told reporters that the country’s foreign exchange reserves are about nine billion euros, and almost all of them are located abroad. According to him, after the United States adopted measures to block access to these reserves, the Taliban have access to less than 0.1 percent of their volume.

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