'Highly objectionable': Taliban defence minister miffed with fighters taking selfies in govt offices

Published on Sep 25, 2021 01:45 AM IST

The Taliban’s defence minister Mullah Mohammad Yakoob, son of Mullah Omar, issued a rebuke in an audio message over misconduct and abuses by some fighters.

Taliban fighters take their selfie with a mobile phone inside the home of the Afghan warlord Abdul Rashid Dostum in the Sherpur neighborhood of Kabul.(AFP)
Taliban fighters take their selfie with a mobile phone inside the home of the Afghan warlord Abdul Rashid Dostum in the Sherpur neighborhood of Kabul.(AFP)
By | Edited by Kunal Gaurav, New Delhi

As the Taliban transition from insurgency to peacetime administration, the leaders have taken cognisance of reports of abuses in an attempt to present a conciliatory face to the world. The Taliban’s defence minister Mullah Mohammad Yakoob, son of Mullah Omar, issued a rebuke in an audio message over misconduct by some fighters after the US troops withdrawal from Afghanistan, Reuters reported.

"We direct you keep them out of your ranks, otherwise strict action will be taken against you," Yakoob said in a message for Taliban commanders. "We don't want such people in our ranks."

There have been reports of reprisal by the Sunni Pashtun fighters against former government officials and civil society activists despite the promises of general amnesty to project themselves as different from the hardline Islamist administration that ruled from 1996 to 2001. Often with no obvious chain of command, Taliban fighters are reported to have meted out abusive treatment to some Kabul residents.

Yaqoob, who oversaw the military operations of the Taliban during the insurgency, warned that such actions would not be tolerated, according to Reuters.

"As you all are aware, under the general amnesty announced in Afghanistan, no mujahid has the right to take revenge on anyone," he said.

The audio message was tweeted by several Taliban Twitter handles and was widely shared on social media. However, it remains unclear which exact incidents Yakoob was referring to. There have been reports of infighting among different factions of the Taliban as some of them want to opt for a moderate approach while others don’t want to compromise.

Yakoob has also taken note of some Taliban fighters crashing into government offices and taking selfies.

"This is highly objectionable as everyone is taking out mobile phones and taking snaps in the important and sensitive ministries without any reason," he said. "Such hanging out and taking snaps and videos will not help you in this world, and also in the hereafter."

(With inputs from agencies)

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