Top Afghan Taliban leader issues decree against nepotism


Islamabad (AP) — The supreme leader of the Taliban has issued a decree against nepotism, barring officials in Afghanistan’s Taliban administration from hiring relatives in government positions.

The shadowy leader, Mullah Hibatullah Akhundzada, also ordered all Taliban officials to sack their sons and other relatives who are already working in their administration. The decree was posted late on Saturday on the Taliban government’s Twitter account.

“It is an order to all officials in the ministries, departments and independent authorities that no one is allowed to appoint family members or relatives in government positions,” the decree said.

The tweet did not elaborate on the reasons behind the decree but it followed rumors that many Taliban officials have appointed their sons and relatives in high-ranking government positions rather than professionals or those with experience needed for the posts.

Taliban government spokesmen were not immediately available on Monday to elaborate on the order or provide further details.

The Taliban seized power in Afghanistan in mid-August 2021 amid the chaotic departure of U.S. and NATO troops after 20 years. Despite initial promises of a more moderate stance, the Taliban gradually reimposed their harsh interpretation of Islamic law, or Sharia, as they did during their previous rule of Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001.

Girls are now barred from school beyond the sixth grade and women are banned from working, studying, traveling without a male companion, and even going to parks, gyms or bath houses. Women must also cover themselves from head to toe and are barred from working at national and international non-governmental organizations, disrupting the delivery of humanitarian aid.

Akhundzada’s decree also ordered that all Taliban officials immediately fill the vacated posts with people other than their sons, family members or relatives.

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