Taliban leader vows to review previous government’s laws

Taliban leader Mullah Hibatullah.

Taliban leader Mullah Hibatullah Akhundzada has said he will review all “corrupt and illegitimate” laws, rules and regulations made over the past two decades under Ghani and Karzai administrations, assuring his supporters to establish a “pure Islamic government.”

Addressing a meeting of Taliban intelligence members in Kandahar this week, Hibatullah, whose audio was released on Thursday, said he will cancel all laws and regulations applied over the past 20 years.

“This is an Islamic government. Support it. Stand with it,” he reiterated. “The laws, the illegitimate laws, the bribery system that has been created, the system that has been built based on forbidden money… I assure you that I have requested the appointment regulations of all ministries and have submitted them to scholars for consideration. If there is something in it that contradicts Sharia and national interests, we will remove it.”

“We will not allow the implementation of anything that contradicts Sharia, no matter how much pressure comes on us,” he added.

A pro-Taliban news agency, the Sharia newspaper, said in a report on Wednesday that Taliban chief justice Abdul Hakim, Taliban’s head of administrative affairs Noor-ul-Haq Anwar, and deputy head of the group’s intelligence apparatus, Tajmir Jawad, had attended the meeting.

The report did not mention the exact date of the meeting.

This comes as the United States has put in place a visa restriction policy for Taliban members over the repression of women and girls in Afghanistan, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said.

On Tuesday, he noted that despite previous assurances that the Taliban would respect the human rights of all Afghans, they have “issued and enforced a series of policies or edicts that effectively bar women and girls in Afghanistan from full participation in public life, including access to secondary education and work in most industries.”