Taliban leader says he ‘will not allow Washington to topple’ his government

Eid prayers in the city of Kandahar. April 21, 2023.

Taliban has claimed that its leader Hibatullah Akhundzada attended Eid prayers in the southern province of Kandahar on Friday, but there is no footage from him again.

In a voice note sent to the media by the Taliban, Akhundzada says he will not allow Washington to topple his government no matter how much pressure it will bring on Taliban.

“This is a good fortune for the people that they have an Islamic government,” Hibatullah said. “I will not allow non-Muslims to have anything here until I am alive, and any individual who imposes a risk to Islam has no place in this country.”

AKhundzada speaks about the confrontation with Washington at a time when the US sent a $40 million aid package to Afghanistan every week after the fall of Kabul to the Taliban in August 2021.

The Taliban leader said he would not allow “non-Islamic laws” to be implemented in the country.

“Americans left the country but I didn’t know whether to be happy or upset because our own Afghans were upset. We were not fighting with you. It was not against you in the beginning, too. We wanted you to not be with and allow us to fight alone… Do not defend from infidels,” said Akhundzad.

He added that the general amnesty for former military personnel is still in its place but they should not defend from “strangers.”

This comes as UN Special Rapporteur Richard Bennett in an interview with Amu this month said the Taliban is involved in violation of human rights and arbitrary arrests of former security force members in Afghanistan.

A number of Kandahar residents who attended the prayers said they could not see Akhundzada and they could only hear a voice that was believed to be of him.

They added that the first rows inside the mosque were occupied by Taliban members and that others could not see his face.