Kabul [Afghanistan], July 3 (ANI): In a recent speech at an event in Kabul on Friday, the Taliban's supreme leader Mawlawi Haibatullah Akhundzada warned foreigners to stop meddling in Afghanistan's affairs and politics.
The reclusive leader told the conference that Afghanistan "cannot develop without being independent," CNN reported citing local media.
"Thank God, we are now an independent country. (Foreigners) should not give us their orders, it is our system, and we have our own decisions," Akhundzada added.
The Taliban's supreme leader Mawlawi Haibatullah Akhundzada has once again warned foreigners not to interfere in Afghanistan during a rare speech at a gathering of Islamic clerics in Kabul on Friday, according to state media.
In the speech, Akhundzada praised the Taliban's takeover of Afghanistan last August, almost two decades after they were driven from Kabul by US troops, saying: "The success of the Afghan jihad is not only a source of pride for Afghans but also for Muslims all over the world."
Akhundzada made the comments in an audio recording during a three-day religious gathering of 3,000 attendees -- all of whom were male, CNN said, quoting local media reports.
According to CNN, Akhundzada was named as the Taliban's leader in 2016 after the group's previous leader Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansour was killed in a US airstrike in Pakistan. He retained the post when the group announced its interim government back in September.
The statements delivered by Akhundzada contradict the ones made by other members of the Taliban's leadership in recent months who have expressed an openness to a more inclusive government in order to gain international support.
The World Bank has frozen projects worth hundreds of millions of dollars over the issue.
Meanwhile, UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet warned that "women and girls in Afghanistan were experiencing the most significant and rapid roll-back in the enjoyment of their rights across the board in decades," as she condemned the Taliban regime during an urgent meeting held in Geneva on Friday.
The three-day gathering that opened on Thursday and concluded on Saturday was the first nationwide gathering of Islamic clerics in the country, eleven months after the re-establishment of the Taliban in Afghanistan.
The participants described Daesh or the rival Islamic State outfit as "insurgent, terrorist", noting cooperation with the group is against Islamic laws.
It also supported the administration's ban on poppy plantation and drug production and its smuggling, noting that poppy cultivation, drug production and trafficking are against Islamic teaching. Around 3,500 religious scholars and elders from across the country were invited to attend the three-day Jirga. However, women were not allowed to attend the assembly by the Taliban.
Participants of the Jirga were expected to discuss a spectrum of issues including reopening schools for girls from grade 7th to grade 12th, the type of government, the national flag, and the national anthem, but the three days long Jirga concluded without discussing reopening schools for girls above grade six and women's right to work outside home.
The civil societies have strongly condemned the Jirga's decision to debar women and have called the gathering illegitimate in absence of women.
Taliban have suspended the secondary education of girls and enforced a strict form of Hijab.
They also provide no opportunities for Afghan women to participate in political and public life, to fit the pattern of absolute gender segregation that is aimed at making women invisible in society.
Away from the urban areas, women and girls are not allowed to move out on the streets or travel without a male family member accompanying them.
Unrecognized by most of the international community, the Taliban-led government has committed to disrespecting the human rights of women. The atrocities of the Taliban against Afghan women have been on an incessant surge since the organization seized power in Afghanistan in August last year, banning young girls and women of humanitarian rights. (ANI)