“We are addressing the nation that the sedition called ISIS-K is not up to date and is a false sect that spreads corruption in our Islamic country. It is forbidden to have any help or relationship with them,” the Taliban said. in resolution on Saturday.
It is an affiliate of ISIS – the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria – according to the Wilson Center, an impartial political forum.
It has carried out numerous attacks against Afghan civilians and is believed to be responsible for thousands of deaths since its formation in 2015.
He added that “any opposition to this Islamic system of government that is contrary to Islamic Sharia and the national interest is corruption and illegal activities.”
The connection between ISIS-K and its apparent parent group, the Islamic State, is not entirely clear; the branches share ideology and tactics, but the depth of their relationship in regards to organization and command and control has never been fully established.
U.S. intelligence officials previously told CNN that ISIS-K includes “a small number of jihadist veterans from Syria and other foreign terrorist fighters,” saying the U.S. has identified 10 to 15 of its top fighters in Afghanistan.
According to the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), among its first members were Pakistani fighters who appeared in the Afghan province of Nangarhar about a decade ago, many of whom fled Pakistan and defected from other terrorist groups.
Counter-terrorism analysts last year estimated its strength at around 1,500 to 2,000, but the figure could rise.
Calls for recognition
The gathering in Kabul, which was attended by 3,000 people – all men, according to state media – ended on Saturday with a call for the international community to recognize the Taliban-led government of Afghanistan as legitimate.
The United States and other countries were reluctant to recognize the Taliban after their quick takeover of the country in August 2021, just weeks after the American withdrawal began.
UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet warned on Friday that “women and girls in Afghanistan are experiencing the largest and fastest decline in the enjoyment of their rights across the board in decades.” The World Bank has frozen projects worth hundreds of millions of dollars because of this issue.
The 11-point resolution released at the end of the meeting called for the recognition and release of foreign aid and promised to “take valuable steps towards realizing national interests and people’s well-being and preventing poverty and unemployment,” Baktar said.
“We call on the United Nations and other international organizations, especially Islamic countries and organizations, to recognize the Islamic Emirate as a legitimate system, engage positively with it, lift all sanctions on Afghanistan, release the frozen funds of the Afghan nation, and promote the economic development and reconstruction of our country,” stated in the resolution, according to Bakhtar.
In a rare speech at the gathering, Akhundzada praised the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan last year as “a source of pride not only for Afghans, but for Muslims around the world.”
“Thank God, we are now an independent country. (Foreigners) should not give us their orders, this is our system, and we have our own decisions,” Akhundzade added.
Speaking to the clergy, Akhundzade reaffirmed his commitment to uphold Sharia law, the legal system of Islam based on the Koran, while expressing his disagreement with the “way of life of unbelievers.”
The Taliban’s harsh interpretation of sharia law when they were last in power led to a host of brutal punishments, including stoning of alleged adulterers, public executions and amputations.
Hannah Ritchie of CNN contributed to the story.