Former Taliban official criticizes misuse of authority

KABUL, Afghanistan — Abdul Salam Zaeef, a former Taliban official, has criticized the misuse of authority within the Taliban’s ranks, although he did not point to any specific individual.

In a post on X, Zaeef outlined three reasons for the collapse of Islamic governments throughout history: negligence and misuse of authority, conflicts between law and Sharia, and autocracy and monopolization of leadership. While he did not single out anyone, the Taliban’s structure includes a supreme reclusive leader.

“It is very important that everyone be responsible for their duties and must not commit even a tiny negligence. If someone lacks the capacity and enthusiasm, they should resign and be replaced by someone worthy,” he stated.

Zaeef also emphasized the importance of strictly adhering to Sharia law and setting aside personal disputes. He warned that absolute authority in the hands of a supreme leader often leads to dictatorship, where sycophants gain influence and knowledgeable individuals are sidelined.

“It would be great if every official was accountable to others,” he suggested. “A high-level leadership council could address this flaw.”

Zaeef served as the Taliban’s ambassador to Pakistan during their first tenure in power and was considered close to the group’s founder, Mullah Mohammad Omar.