Taliban's Newly Appointed Kabul Mayor Enforces Sharia Law Across the City

Hamdullah Nomani, the newly appointed mayor of Kabul, has enforced Sharia law throughout the Afghan capital. This development has come despite the Taliban's claims of being moderate.

Nomani, who is also the head of the Taliban's municipality commission, reportedly said contractual companies will be paid, roadside sellers will be relocated, and corrupt individuals will be dealt with in accordance with Sharia law.

He said this in an exclusive interview with Pajhwok Afghan News. The development comes amid reports of corruption in Kabul municipality.

Taliban fighters
Taliban Fighters Wikimedia Commons

Is Afghanistan Riddled with Corruption?

According to Nomani, massive corruption plagued all departments of Afghanistan in the past, but the "Islamic Emirate" has now pardoned all people. "So this means that no one is arrested for past corruption."

But he added: "We have pardoned all those indulged in past corruption but it's not justice, forgiveness requires huge price. So many people have been killed, we have so many widows, but people have been forgiven for peace, so it is less to forgive someone's corruption for peace," according to Pajhwok Afghan News.

The news agency reported two weeks ago that municipality employees and police were illegally collecting roughly 20 million Afghanis per day from sellers.

Kabul Municipality Fuel Scam

TOLO news journalist Tamim Hamid in 2018 had spoken to a computer salesman in Kabul, who explained how some government employees and staff at private companies hack systems to steal fuel.

One example cited was the "fake" invoices he is asked to write out.

"They (corrupt people) come and say that we prefer to buy the products from you, (computer seller), but they ask me to write the invoice out for 5,000, 10,000 or 20,000 AFs more than the actual price," the salesman said.

Kabul municipality had referred 200 people to legal and judicial institutions over their suspected involvement in corruption in the past few months.

Taliban Claims It'll Be More Moderate, But Killings Continue in Afghanistan

During their years in power from 1996 to 2001, the Taliban had imposed a very harsh interpretation of the Sharia, banning women from stepping out of the house, getting education or working. They had banned music and appointed 'monitors' who would enforce these rules with violence. But now, the group is seeking to present a more moderate face.

"What is happening in Afghanistan is completely opposite to the Taliban's pledge of respecting human rights. Women, minorities and children are the worst affected," said International Forum for Rights and Security (IFFRAS), a non-profit international think tank.

Soon after capturing the capital city, the terrorist group had announced an amnesty for government officials and assured women of basic rights. "However, the past few days have seen women being punished, people from the minority Hazra community being killed and children being subjected to violence," the IFFRAS report said.