Taliban publish new Islamic constitution for Afghanistan

ISLAMABAD: Taliban have published a shadow Afghan constitution outlining an alternative hardline government to that of President Hamid Karzai. The 23-page document envisages a country where women would remain veiled and uneducated, “un-Islamic thought” would be banned and human rights would be ignored if “contrary with the teachings of Islam”. The Constitution of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, comes days after the Defence Secretary, Des Browne, said that the Taliban will need to take a role in the peace process in Afghanistan.

On freedom of speech the Taliban charter, which is written in Pashto and Dari, is clear: “Every Afghan has the right to express his feelings through his views, writings or through other means in accordance with the law.” However “un-Islamic thought” is strictly forbidden and “violators will be punished according to sharia” – under the Taliban’s strict interpretation of Islamic teachings.It provides for the education of women but only within the limits of sharia and stresses that the government will enforce compliance with Sharai Hejab – that women cover fully cover themselves.

The document, according to British daily Telegraph, also stresses the importance of jihad as an obligation for every citizen. It offers the Taliban’s support for the United Nations and upholds human rights – “until it is contrary with the teachings of Islam”. “The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan wishes good working relations with all the neighbouring countries and specially those who have supported the Afghan nation during jihad,” it adds.

The greatest power is vested in an Emir-ul-Momineen, or leader of the faithful. Like its official Afghan counterpart, the constitution states that no law can “be contrary to Islamic sharia”. The Taliban, who ruled most of Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001 and continues to maintain it is the legitimate government, promulgated harsh, unorthodox edicts. The constitution was approved by the Taliban’s central shura religious council, headed by Mullah Omer, in 2005 but it has not been made public until now.

“The publication of the constitution is only to make sure every citizen of Afghanistan gets it in black and white,” said Fath-ul-Kabir, a Taliban commander from Ghazni in Afghanistan. One of the 110 articles of the Taliban’s constitution, which is bound as a 10 chapter booklet adorned with the Taliban insignia, stipulates that all other constitutions are void.-SANA

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Rubab Saleem

Rubab Saleem is Editor of Pakistan Times

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