Afghan Taliban leader deems attacks on Pakistan forbidden

Sheikh Hibatullah Akhunzada, the supreme leader of Afghanistan’s ruling Taliban has labeled cross-border attacks, including those on Pakistan, as forbidden under Islam.

The Pakistani side urged the Taliban to make the diktat public to help deter TTP and its Afghan supporters from conducting activities that undermine relations between the two countries.

According to Sheikh Hibatullah’s diktats, all groups have been asked to pledge allegiance to him as attacking Pakistan is declared haram (forbidden). The Afghan nationals have been barred from crossing the border for militancy, the Afghan supreme leader said and added those who get killed in Pakistan, will not be called martyrs.

No official of the Afghan government will attend the funerals of the militants involved in cross-border terrorism, Akhunzada said in his directions.

The official Afghan television station aired audio of a speech Saturday by Taliban Defense Minister Muhammad Yaqoob, in which he revealed for the first time a few details about Hibatullah’s order regarding cross-border violence.

Yaqoob said, without naming any country, that the Taliban supreme leader had terminated the jihad or holy war, and “obedience” to his decree is mandatory” for all. Yaqoob was speaking to a gathering of Taliban commanders and security forces.

“If someone still leaves Afghanistan intending to wage jihad abroad, it cannot be considered jihad anymore. If Mujahideen [Taliban forces] continue to fight despite orders from the emir to stop, it is not jihad but rather hostility,” Yaqoob said, using Hibatullah’s official title.

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