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Taliban leaders welcome Afghanistan's victory at a rally to build national unity

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Charlotte Greenfield and Mohammad Yunus Yawar

Kabul — Afghanistan's Leader of the Islamic Taliban Hibatullah Akhnzada in 2021 at a meeting on Friday Welcomed to take over. A national unity was built and religious leaders from all over the country attended.

A Taliban spokesman confirmed that Akhnzada, based in a city in the south of Kandahar, came to the capital Kabul for a gathering of all men of about 3,000 participants.

After raising his hand and receiving a pledge of allegiance from the participants, Akhnzada praised the Taliban's victory last August. This marked the end of a 20-year struggle to overthrow a Western-backed government and expel US-led troops. Country.

"The success of Afghanistan's jihad is a source of pride not only for Afghanistan but for Muslims around the world," he said, according to the state-run Bakhtar News Agency. Arabic for traditional struggle.

When the Islamist movement announced a provisional government in September, the mysterious Akhnzada maintained its role as the group's ultimate authority, the Supreme Leader, since 2016, but publicly. It is rarely seen in.

His speech to a gathering of religious leaders, delivered a week after the deadly earthquake in eastern Afghanistan, revealed the lack of support that the Taliban could expect from the international community.

The Afghan economy was in jeopardy as the Tullivan government said it needed to change the direction of human and women's rights, and the Western government withdrew funding and enforced strict sanctions.

In a speech on Thursday, Akhnzada asked traders to return to the country to invest, saying that foreign aid could not build an economy and would make Afghans more dependent on foreign currency. Stated.

"Thank God, we are now an independent country. (Foreigners) should not give us their orders, it is our system and ourselves There is a decision, "he said, according to Bacter.

"We have a devoted relationship to one God. We cannot accept the orders of others that God does not like," he said.

He said the group wanted peace and security, and neighboring countries had nothing to fear.

The Kabul rally began on Thursday under close security.

At one point, a Taliban spokesman was the result of a guard firing in a "suspicious place," and the situation was controlled, with sustained shootings near the venue.

At least one participant called for the opening of a girls' high school, but it was unclear how widespread support for the proposal was.

Deputy Prime Minister and Deputy Interior Minister Taliban Shirajudin Haqqani said at a meeting on Friday that the world is demanding comprehensive government and education, and the problem needs time.

"This rally is about trust and interaction. We are here to create the future according to Islam and national interests," he said.

The Taliban returned to his announcement that all schools would open in March, leaving many girls in high school in tears and criticizing the Western government.

Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said he would respect the decisions made at the meeting, but the final decision on girls' education was up to the Supreme Leader.

Akhnzada, a hardline priest whose son was a suicide bomber, spent most of his leadership behind the scenes and finally negotiated to see the United States and its allies leave Afghanistan 20 years later. Fighting a terrible rebellion that has put others in control. (Report by Charlotte Greenfield and Mohammad Yunus Yawar in Kabul, edited by Robert Birsel and William Maclean&SimonCameron-Moore)