The Taliban prime minister calls on Muslim nations to be the first to officially recognize its government, as aid-dependent Afghanistan faces economic collapse.
No country has yet recognized the Taliban, with most watching to see how the hardline Islamists — notorious for human rights abuses during their first stint in power — restrict freedoms.
Although the group has promised a softer rule in line with their interpretation of Islamic Sharia law, women are largely excluded from government employment and secondary schools for girls are mostly shuttered.
“I call on Muslim countries to take the lead and recognize us officially. Then I hope we will be able to develop quickly,” Mohammad Hassan Akhund tells a conference in Kabul called to address the country’s massive economic woes.
“We don’t want it for the officials. We want it for our public,” he says, adding that the Taliban has fulfilled all necessary conditions by restoring peace and security.
But Taliban Deputy Prime Minister Abdul Salam Hanafi tells the conference that the government “would not sacrifice the independence of the country’s economy by bending to the conditions of donors.”