Taliban strategising on ways of governance - GulfToday

Taliban strategising on ways of governance


Photo used for illustrative purpose.

For the first time after they took over the country from the Americans and the government backed by the Americans, the Taliban leaders had a nationwide meeting of Islamic scholars of the country, about 3,500 of them, at the Polytechnic University in Kabul.

The Taliban’s supreme leader, who continues to live in Kandahar to the south, which is the bastion of the puritanical group, Hibatullah Akhunzada, addressed the gathering. He expressed the determination of establishing an Islamic state based on sharia laws.

Though he warned the international community from telling the Taliban government what to do, he was also suggesting ways of governing Afghanistan in the Islamic way as the Taliban understand it. Akhunzada said, “The sharia system comes under two parts – scholars and rulers. If scholars do not advise authorities to do good, or the rulers close the doors against the scholars, then we will not have an Islamic system.”

Meanwhile, Afghanistan’s acting Prime Minister Mullah Mohammed Hasan Akhund while appealing to all Afghan groups, including the tribal leaders and the Shia minority, to help build the Islamic system, said, “We all should work to strengthen it.

The Islamic Emirate is trying in all aspects to address all issues.

There might be problems in some places, but if they are shared with us, we will take steps to solve them.”

The Taliban might be sincere in wanting to create a system of governance, but they seem quite clueless as to how to handle them. One of the major obstacles the Taliban have created for themselves is in adopting the policy keeping the women out of education and every other public sphere.

This idea of excluding women is neither religious nor tribal because women play a key role and they contribute to the economy. If the Taliban want to adhere to traditional ideas about women and governance, then it will be difficult for them to address most of the social and economic problems facing Afghanistan.

It is apparent that the Taliban this time round is trying to be different from how they governed Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001.

They recognise now much more than before that international aid and communication are most essential to address many of the challenges facing the country.

They are more pragmatic and less rigid compared to their years in power last time. The loya jirga showed that they are now willing to listen to different views.

It is interesting to note that Mawlawi Mohammed Omar Khattabi, who runs a network of madrassas and Islamic radio stations in southern Afghanistan said that on religious matters the religious scholars must be consulted but on technical issues, experts must be consulted.

Shiite scholar from Bamiyan in central Afghanistan Sayed Nasrulla Waezi raised the issue of reopening schools for girls which the Taliban have closed since they came into power last August, and he also expressed the hope that the Taliban leaders would create an “atmosphere of harmony, sincerity, brotherhood, and fraternity.”

The Taliban seem to recognise that Afghanistan is a diverse society in terms of tribes and religious sects and that there is a need to create a national forum where the views of everyone can be heard.

It will perhaps take a longer time to recognise that it would as essential to include women in these public consultations, and that in the present-day world it does not make sense to shut films and television entertainment, that modern technology and medicine are essential to meet the challenge of governance.

It looks like that Taliban are trying to solve the contradictions they have created for themselves and for Afghanistan by misinterpreting the tenets of faith, with its emphasis on egalitarianism and respect for all.

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