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Taliban’s declaration draws ire in Kabul

A media watchdog is worried about “the retrograde standpoint” of the Taliban. Although the Taliban has said the declaration is not theirs, but they should guarantee that they would respect our democratic values

AT News

KABUL: A media watchdog – NAI – has hit back at Taliban’s declaration about the future of Afghanistan in which they clearly envisioned their self-styled totalitarian government.

NAI issued a statement on Tuesday, seeking explanation from the United States about the Taliban’s declaration. It said the declaration indicates that the Taliban is not committed to the freedom of speech and that their beliefs vis-à-vis freedom of expression, human rights and women’s rights have remained stubbornly intact.

In this declaration that did rounds in the mainstream media on Monday, the Taliban emphasize on their self-styled Islamic Emirate state. The group’s spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid has also denied any connection between the Taliban and the declaration.

Worries about “the retrograde standpoint” of the Taliban coalesce with concerns over a spike in Taliban terrorist activities across the country. This is a wakeup call that needs to be tended. Although the Taliban has disowned the letter, they should guarantee that they would respect our democratic values.

The declaration made up of 149 articles emphasized on establishment of Islamic Emirate regime bearing a white flag. “All freedoms shall be established in concert with the Islamic interpretations and all laws shall be executed after consent by the leadership council, ulema council,” it said.

NAI has said the declaration will reverse the gains of past 18 years, urging the United States and its envoy Zalmay Khalilzad to obtain guarantees from the Taliban for safeguarding human rights values including the freedom of speech and media. It also sought a halt to the release of Taliban prisoners.

This is as the government has released more than 300 Taliban inmates from the country’s prisons and will continue to do so till all 5,000 Taliban prisoners are freed. This is a part of a plan to get the Taliban in the negotiating table in a bid to end the war.

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