Taliban commander rules out democracy in Afghanistan: ‘It is Sharia law and that is it’

A Taliban commander said Thursday that Afghanistan will not become a democracy and will be strictly run under Sharia law.

“There will be no democratic system at all because it does not have any base in our country,” Waheedullah Hashimi, a senior member of the Taliban, told Reuters.

“We will not discuss what type of political system should we apply in Afghanistan because it is clear. It is Sharia law and that is it,” he added.

Before the U.S. invaded Afghanistan in 2001, the Taliban imposed its interpretation of Sharia, or Islamic law. Girls were prohibited from going to school, and women were not allowed to leave their home unless accompanied by a man.

The Taliban has said they will be more open to women’s rights going forward, a claim that has drawn widespread skepticism.

The ruling structure this time around will be similar to the Taliban’s previous organization, with a supreme leader and a council expected to take charge.

Haibatullah Akhundzada, the head of the Taliban, would be head of the council, while his deputy would function in a role similar to president of the country, Hashimi told Reuters.

Hashimi also said the Taliban are actively recruiting members of the Afghan security forces. Pilots are a priority for the Taliban, since they do not have any in their ranks.

“We have contact with many pilots,” Hashimi said. “And we have asked them to come and join, join their brothers, their government. We called many of them and are in search of [others’] numbers to call them and invite them to their jobs.”

It is unclear how many will join the Taliban out of fear of retaliation for helping U.S. forces over the past 20 years.

Tags Afghanistan Democracy girls' education Human rights Sharia Taliban Women's rights
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