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Afghanistan: Shia body calls for inclusive government, minority rights

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The Shia Ulema Council in Afghanistan has called for an inclusive government in the country giving adequate representation to Shia Muslims and one that respects rights of all minorities. The Taliban formed an interim “Islamic Emirate” and announced a government earlier this week.

The cabinet members includes Taliban leaders many of whom are considered hardliners. Several of them, including Sirajuddin Haqqani feature on global terrorism lists. The list announced by Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid is dominated by members of the group’s old guard. Not a single woman finds representation in the government.

“Our demands should be taken seriously. We want honorable officials, Jafari Jurisprudence (Shia school) should be recognized,” said Ayatullah Salehi Mudaras, a member of the Shia Ulema, as quoted by TOLO News. This comes after a large gathering was held by the Shia Ulema on Tuesday.

However, Taliban appear to gain a steady hold on power in Afghanistan. Other countries appear to slowly accept the new reality.

Saudi Arabia on Thursday said that it stood with the wishes of the Afghan people. Saudi Arabia was one of the few countries that had formally recognised Taliban regime when they were in power in late 90s

Meanwhile, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Thursday said that the world must maintain a dialogue with the Taliban.

He expressed fears that hardline Islamists’ return to power in Afghanistan may embolden jihadists in Sahel region of Africa. 

“We must maintain a dialogue with the Taliban, where we affirm our principles directly — a dialogue with a feeling of solidarity with the Afghan people,” he said.

(With inputs from agencies)



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