Taliban leader claims Afghans were killed for allegiance to foreigners

Taliban leader Hibatullah Akhundzada has stated that the deaths of certain Afghan citizens were due to their alignment with foreigners, not a targeted effort by the Taliban.

In an audio recording broadcast by the Taliban-run RTA, Akhundzada argued that those killed were “standing in the front line of the pagans.”

“After overtaking Afghanistan, we forgave all opponents of the Taliban, living in brotherhood with them,” he said during the broadcast. “We did not intend to kill Afghans in the past either. We do not want to harass them. Those who were killed had sheltered with, and walked in front of, pagans.”

In his remarks, Akhundzada also lauded the Taliban’s cabinet for its compliance. “My ministers are obeying me, and I am satisfied,” he commented.

According to RTA, Akhundzada made these statements at an event titled “Coordination Between the Seminaries and Private Organizations” in Ayno Mina, the capital of Kandahar.

The Taliban leader also called on the public to adhere to his orders and decrees. “The people are informed of the benefits of Islamic government. They should avoid disputes and distractions and prevent disobedience to their leaders,” he urged.

Despite Akhundzada’s repeated proclamations of a general amnesty, the United Nations and various human rights organizations have reported alleged torture and killings of former Afghan military officials by Taliban forces.

A report from the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan indicated that threats and violence against former government officials and members of the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces persist. From January to March, UNAMA documented 38 instances of arbitrary arrest, 10 instances of torture, verbal threats, and four extrajudicial killings.

From 2001 onwards under the previous government, Taliban was responsible for most of civilian casualties in Afghanistan.