Top Taliban officials and about 3,000 members of “religious scholars, politicians, and different sections of the society” are participating in the gathering, “akin to” the Loya Jirga, that commenced on Thursday, August 18, in the southern Afghan province of Kandahar.
The Taliban’s director of the Information and Culture Department in Kandahar province, Hafiz Noor Ahmad Saeed, stated that this is a one-day gathering, convened to assess the current situation in Afghanistan, and support the Taliban.
Three thousand religious scholars are reportedly present at this all-male meeting, according to the Taliban-control Afghanistan National Television.
The conference is said to be attended by Taliban high-ranking officials, including the group’s supreme leader, Mullah Hibatullah Akhundzada.
Women were not allowed to attend an earlier grand assembly of Taliban religious scholars and tribal elders, which was convened at Kabul’s Loya Jirga Hall, for three days.
Taliban’s all-male grand assembly that excluded women incited outrage among women, civil society activists, and public figures, even challenging the legitimacy of the gathering.
An 11-point resolution endorsing the Taliban and urging the international community to recognize the Taliban-led government of Afghanistan was adopted at the end of a three-day great assembly of Islamic clerics and tribal elders in Kabul.
At a time when Afghanistan is going through the “worst” humanitarian crisis in the world and no country has recognized the Taliban rule in Afghanistan, the Taliban have gathered in the province of Kandahar.