In a message released on the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr on Sunday, Emir Afghan Taliban Mawlawi Hibatullah Akhundzada urged Afghans to come together for the “redevelopment of our homeland” as the US forces begin drawing down from the country.
“To the believing Mujahid people of Afghanistan, vanguard Mujahideen and Muslims worldwide! May peace, mercy and blessings of Allah be upon you all!” read the statement, released by Afghan Taliban spokesperson Qari Yousaf Ahmadi.
“I extend my heartfelt felicitation to you all on this auspicious occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr. May Allah (SwT) accept from you your fasting, worship and supplications, Ameen.
"I am pleased that by the special grace of Allah (SwT), we are celebrating this Eid as our country is on the verge of attaining complete freedom and independence, and with the Divine Help of Allah (SwT), the hopes and aspirations of the martyrs, orphans, widows, displaced and suffering compatriots of the past twenty-year Jihad are near realisation, Allah willing,” the statement further reads.
The Taliban leader also prayed that the struggle, suffering and selfless sacrifices of the Afghan people, as well as the Taliban, will bear the fruit of a peaceful, prosperous and sovereign life under the “shade of a pure Islamic government”, that will allow them to develop, rehabilitate the war-torn country and implement Shariah law.
“It is essential that we show our appreciation for the steadfastness and valor demonstrated by our persecuted nation and the selflessness and courage of our Mujahideen brethren, to praise and honor the sacrifices of our imprisoned, wounded, disabled, orphaned and suffering compatriots and to supplicate to Allah (SwT) for their acceptance,” the statement added.
“Our homeland will be in dire need of reconstruction and self-sufficiency following independence,” said the emir, urging the Afghan people to come together and contribute to the redevelopment so that the nation could prosper.
“Let us attain this end by moving away from self-interests and pursuit of power, by making Islamic values and national interests our guiding principles, and by rebuilding as a strong and unified nation through forgiveness, reconciliation and compassion towards one another,” he said.
The Afghan Taliban chief further assured that following the end of US occupation, the country shall have an Afghan-inclusive Islamic system in which all people shall feel a sense of representation based on their abilities and skills, and none shall have their rights violated.
“I once again call on Afghans in the opposition ranks to end all attempts at continuing the war. This land is the shared home of all Afghans. We must unite upon Islamic injunctions and protect ourselves from all discord and prejudice,” he maintained.
“The arms of the Islamic Emirate are wide open for all Afghans that have previously stood in opposition to us,” the Taliban leader said, adding that, “We are extending our hand of amnesty and affection, and inviting them to join the path of truth.”
“Stubbornness, vindictiveness and enmity will not amount to anything, but conversely, nations attain honor and glory through tolerance, self-restraint and embracing the truth,” read the Taliban chief’s statement.
Nearly 20 years after invading the country to remove the Taliban from power and pursue Al Qaeda following the September 11, 2001 attacks, last month US President Joe Biden ordered the final withdrawal of 2,500 US service members and 16,000 civilian contractors.