Taliban calls for Islamic emirate in Afghanistan, drafts a charter with rules
The Taliban have drafted a charter with rules for the future governance of Afghanistan that virtually envisages a return to the era when the terror group was in power in Kabul during 1996-2001, according to a media report on Tuesday.
The draft charter, which was shared with ToloNews channel by a senior Afghan government official, calls for establishing an Islamic emirate, has 149 articles on a broad range of topics including how laws will be passed, and states the Islamic emirate is not obliged to implement UN laws that contradict Islamic values.
The development comes at a time when there is growing concern within government circles in India and other neighbouring countries that the Taliban, long accused of having strong ties with Pakistan’s military establishment, are trying to take advantage of the Covid-19 crisis to push through their agenda.
“The Taliban are acting as if they are already in power in Kabul. There has been no reduction in violence and the Taliban have done nothing to demonstrate that they will act against al-Qaeda in keeping with the agreement they signed with the US,” said a person familiar with developments who declined to be named.
“The Taliban’s top leadership continues to be in Pakistan and there is little doubt that the group is acting at the behest of the Pakistani military to ensure India has little or no role in the current situation in Afghanistan,” the person said, adding similar concerns were prevalent among diplomats of several Western nations.
The Indian government, which has pledged more than $3 billion for the development of Afghanistan, has said it backs an Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan-controlled process for peace and reconciliation that ensures a peaceful and stable Afghanistan free from “externally sponsored terrorism”.
ToloNews reported the Taliban’s draft charter is seen by the Afghan government as suggesting that the group’s plans for their “future government” are not very different from policies of their former regime. According to the document, final decisions in all matters will be made by the “emir” or Taliban chief and free speech, human rights and civil rights will be implemented within the framework of Islamic teachings.
The draft charter also suggests executive leaders will not be chosen through elections, as called for in the Afghan Constitution, but by the “Ahl al-hall wal-aqd” or a group qualified to appoint or remove a leader.
Jalaluddin Shinwari, a former Taliban member who served as chief justice during the Taliban regime, said the group still wants an Islamic emirate. “So far this is their demand,” he said.
Afghan rights activists said the charter could take the country back to where it was at the end of the Taliban regime in 2001. The head of Kabul-based Afghanistan Human Rights Organization, Lal Gul Lal, was quoted as saying that Afghans “should not start from the beginning once again”.
Taliban’ spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid, however, told ToloNews the draft charter did “not belong to the group”.