Akhundzada warns against ‘arrogance’ among Taliban

Taliban leader Mullah Hibatullah.

In a meeting with some Taliban officials in Kandahar on Saturday, Taliban leader Hibatullah Akhundzada indirectly criticized some members of the group for their recent remarks over current issues including “monopolization of power.

Sources aware of the matter said Hibatullah called for the system to be strengthened and stated there is a need to end the rifts.

Taliban officials from Badakhshan, Herat and Badghis attended the meeting along with “religious scholars” from the provinces, according to a Taliban statement.

Hibatullah said “officials” should adjust themselves based on the Sharia and protect themselves from arrogance, nepotism and favouritism.

One source aware of the meeting said that he also stressed the need for the end to rifts among the Taliban in order to strengthen the system. In addition he called for prioritizing services to the people.

A focus on prevention of security incidents against the Taliban was another topic discussed in the meeting, said the source.

This comes after at least three Taliban officials expressed their dissatisfaction about the situation in the last week, especially the decisions about women and girls’ education.

Taliban’s interior minister Sirajuddin Haqqani spoke about monopoly of power among Taliban and said he is frustrated with the situation. Another Taliban official, Abdul Salam Hanafi, who is the group’s deputy chief minister, said it would be a dream to talk about development in the country without providing education opportunities to all.

Taliban’s defense minister Yaqub Mujahid meanwhile said there is a need to avoid arrogance, indirectly hinting at Akhundzada’s decrees against women and other such decisions.

One analyst, Amir Mohammad Milatyar, said the group is seeking to hold more such meetings to prevent the situation from worsening.

“I think such meetings will be held next in Kabul and other provinces,” he said.

Taliban has banned women from working in non-governmental organizations, attending universities and going to recreational places and other public areas in cities. The group has also closed secondary schools for girls.