KABUL, Afghanistan — Taliban officials at a meeting in Kabul’s Loya Jirga Hall on Wednesday used strong language against their opponents both within and outside the country, vowing to prevent them from acting.
Abdul Kabir, the Taliban’s deputy political chief, criticized those who do not consider the U.S. presence in Afghanistan as an occupation. “It would be very dishonorable to not call the 20-year presence an occupation,” he said. “Without the occupation, honor, property, and respect for religion would be compromised.”
Noorullah Nouri, the Taliban’s minister of borders, condemned international efforts to establish an inclusive Afghan government. “Inclusiveness does not mean tolerating repugnant and despised faces,” he said, claiming their government is inclusive.
Khalid Hanafi, the Taliban’s vice and virtue minister, emphasized the strict dress code for women. “Under the guise of the Republic, rights for women and humans emit a stench that reaches Islamic and infidel countries,” he stated.
Women’s rights activist Hadia Sahibzada responded, saying the Taliban are increasingly excluding women from society using the hijab as an excuse.
Yaqub Mujahid, the Taliban’s defense minister, stressed the need for unity in achieving international recognition of their government. “The world will be compelled to recognize our government, system, and people, and interact as with other nations,” he said.
Kabul residents expressed frustration with the Taliban’s interpretation of Sharia law. An unnamed resident criticized the government’s understanding and application of Sharia, while Nawid, another resident, pointed out inconsistencies in women’s treatment under the current regime.
Despite the Taliban’s emphasis on the stability of their government, many Afghan citizens, women, non-Taliban political groups, and the international community are pushing for political change and the establishment of an inclusive government that includes women’s participation.