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Scholars pledge allegiance to Taliban leader, urge global recognition

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KABUL: A grand assembly of religious scholars and ethnic leaders in Kabul ended on Saturday, days after Taliban convened the gathering to pass resolution on major national issues. Pledging allegiance to Taliban leader Haibatullah Akhundzada, scholars and tribal chieftains agreed on and issued an 11-point resolution.

The resolution upped the ante on several key issues such as Taliban’s call for international recognition. “We call on the world, neighboring countries, the United Nations, global organizations, specifically on the Islamic countries and agencies to recognize the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan as a legitimate government,” the resolution said.

Moreover, participants called for sanctions against the Taliban group and its leaders to be lifted and Afghanistan’s frozen central bank assets to be freed.

Taliban leader Haibatullah Akhundzada also joined the three-day gathering of more than 3,000 men on Friday, and delivered a speech in which he congratulated the participants on their victory and underlined the country’s independence. Akhundzada, who is normally based in Kandahar and rarely appears in public, in his address on Friday forbade foreigners from interfering in how Afghanistan can be governed.

In the resolution, religious scholars said allegiance to the Islamic Emirate was obligatory and that the Islamic State was illegal.

The statement issued outlining their 11-point resolutions reads as follows:

1. As we now have an Islamic system, we all support and defend the IEA system and it is compulsory for all Afghans to support and defend the Islamic system.

2. The 3,000 scholars once again renewed their allegiance to the supreme leader of the IEA Haibatullah Akhundzada and accepted him as the legitimate leader based on Sharia.

3. As the IEA has been formed without the interference of other countries, this verifies its domestic legitimacy. We call on the world, neighboring countries, the United Nations, global organizations, specifically on Islamic countries and agencies to recognize the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan as a legitimate government. In addition, they must remove all sanctions from Afghanistan and should release the county’s frozen assets. 

4. We (scholars) support and praise the issued order of the IEA for not cultivating poppies and other drugs in the country. 

5. We support the policy of non-interference in the internal affairs of neighboring and world countries by the IEA and we support the IEA’s decision to not allow any countries to use Afghanistan’s soil against any country. Likewise, we call on the countries around the world and neighbors not to interfere in the domestic affairs of Afghanistan. 

6. As the IEA is an Islamic system and has full sovereignty across the country by providing security, any means of armed resistance against the IEA is rebellion and the eradication of such armed resistance groups is compulsory by the IEA and the nation. 

7. The Islamic State of Khorasan Province (ISKP/Daesh) is an illegal group which spreads corruption in the country; therefore, financially supporting this group and having relationships with it is haram. 

8. We call on scholars who fuel controversial issues to refrain from such topics so as not to cause sedition in the country.

9. We urge the Islamic Emirate to establish justice in the country and to pave the way for religious and modern education, health, agriculture, rights of ethnic minorities and women and children and economic development, within the structure of Sharia. 

10. We call on the leadership of the IEA to stabilize their internal unity, national unity and to protect national sovereignty. Also, we urge them to create job opportunities for Afghans and to eradicate poverty in the country.

11. We support the Contact Commission with the Afghan Personalities established by the IEA and we call on politicians and figures based in foreign countries to return home.

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