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EDITOR IN CHIEF- ABDULLAH BIN SALIM AL SHUEILI

Hazara elders pledge support for Taliban rulers
Nomadic people ride with their belongings on donkeys along a path in Kandahar’s Zhari district on Thursday. — AFP
Nomadic people ride with their belongings on donkeys along a path in Kandahar’s Zhari district on Thursday. — AFP

KABUL: More than 1,000 Afghan Hazaras pledged their support on Thursday to the country’s new Taliban rulers, insisting that the “dark period” of previous Western-backed governments had ended with the return of the hardliners.


Afghanistan’s Hazaras have been persecuted for centuries, but on Thursday community elders gathered in Kabul alongside Taliban leaders in a show of support.


Senior Hazara leader and former lawmaker Jafar Mahdawi, who organised the gathering, said the previous government of president Ashraf Ghani was the “darkest point” in the history of Afghanistan.


“Afghanistan had no independence and (foreign) embassies ruled every aspect of the government,” he said.


“Thank God, we have now passed this dark period.”


Since the Taliban seized power in August, the new rulers have put an end to the war, stopped corruption and increased security, Mahdawi said.


But he called for a more inclusive government from the Taliban and urged the new rulers to reopen schools for girls.


“In the coming weeks or months we hope to witness an inclusive government that has representatives of all people,” Mahdawi said.


The current government is made up almost entirely of the group’s Pashtun stalwarts. — AFP


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