The Supreme Leader of the Taliban made his very first public appearance
Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada and its Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan regime made public appearance on Sunday.
Akhundzada assumed control of the Taliban in 2016. This is his first public appearance since 2016.
The Supreme Leader of the Taliban appeared at an Islamic seminary in the city of Kandahar. As you may be guessing, taking photos and videos of Akhundzada was forbidden. However, the director of the religious school revealed that Akhundzada “greeted around 700 to 800 students” who were “crying” with happiness. Wonder why? They “honored his coming.”
The Taliban regime released an audio of Akhundzada’s speech in front of the “brave soldiers and disciples” at the school.
“May God reward the oppressed people of Afghanistan who fought the infidels and the oppressors for 20 years. My intention here is to pray for you and you pray for me,” the voice allegedly belonging to Akhundzada said in the recording. This was followed by about ten minutes of prayers for the “martyrs” of the Taliban, its wounded fighters, and its newly-installed public officials.
“Let’s pray that we come out of this big test successfully. May Allah help us stay strong,” the recording concluded.
Arab News reported that this public appearance and audio recording suggests that Akhundzada plans to step out of the shadows and gain direct and public control of the government. Several Taliban officials say they are in contact with the “commander of the faithful”. However, he only delivers recorded messages on Muslim holidays.
Independent Tolo News released comments of skeptics who say Akhundzada is injured or dead, probably assassinated in Pakistan during the bombing of a Taliban safe house in the spring of 2020.
The Taliban deny these rumors, saying they are “baseless” and enemy “propaganda.” Skeptics add there’s no compelling security reason for Akhundzada to remain invisible. His people have the right to see and hear from him regularly, right?
The Taliban regime made a move to demand international recognition as the legitimate government of the country on Saturday. They threatened the people of Afghanistan and the entire world.
“Our message to America is, if unrecognition continues, Afghan problems continue, it is the problem of the region and could turn into a problem for the world,” Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid warned.
Mujahid says the US invasion that took place in 2011 could have been brought to an end through “negotiation” and “political compromise” with strong diplomatic recognition.
World leaders have yet to recognize the Taliban as legitimate rulers of Afghanistan. This includes the Chinese who are anxious to do business with the Taliban regime.
Mujahid said that the Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi had a meeting with Taliban officials in Qatar last week, pledging material support to develop infrastructure in the country. They also promised the Taliban regime would be able to access Chinese markets.
On Monday, the Washington Post reported the Taliban sent emissary Maulavi Mahdi, 33, to handle Afghanistan’s Shiite Muslims. This was an attempt to shore up its legitimacy.
Mahdi says he is a “bridge between the Taliban and the Hazara community,” in reference to the Shiite ethnic group he is part of. They are a minority that was persecuted by the Taliban before the American invasion in 2001.