The Taliban on Tuesday unveiled a hardline interim government led by Mullah Mohammad Hasan Akhund, with key roles being shared by high-profile members of the insurgent group, including a specially designated global terrorist of the dreaded Haqqani Network as the interior minister. Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar will be Akhund’s deputy in the “new Islamic government”.
Meanwhile, Sheikh Molvi Noorullah Munir, who has been appointed the Taliban’s Minister of Education, has said master’s degrees and PhD are no more valuable in the country. Mullahs don’t have such degrees and yet are greatest of all, the education minister has said.
A video of Sheikh Molvi Noorullah Munir is now being widely shared on Twitter, wherein he is seen talking of education policy and of master’s degrees and PhD.
“This is the Minister of Higher Education of the Taliban — says No Phd degree, master’s degree is valuable today. You see that the Mullahs & Taliban that are in the power, have no Phd, MA or even a high school degree, but are the greatest of all,” he says in the video.
The announcement of the interim government in Afghanistan comes days after Pakistan’s spy agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Director General Lt Gen Hameed dashed to Kabul on an unannounced visit last week.
It was earlier reported that the new government in Kabul would be based on the lines of the Iranian leadership, with the group’s top religious leader Mullah Hebatullah as Afghanistan’s supreme authority. However, it was not yet clear what role Mullah Hebatullah will play in the new government.
Co-education banned in Afghanistan
Earlier in August, the Taliban officials in the restive Herat province had announced a ban on co-education in government and private universities, describing it as the ‘root of all evils in society’. This was the first ‘fatwa’ issued by the Taliban after its swift takeover of Afghanistan last week.
Zabihullah Mujahid, the Taliban’s longtime spokesman, in his first-ever public appearance, had even promised the Taliban would honour women’s rights within the norms of Islamic law.
During a three-hour meeting of university professors and owners of private educational institutions, Taliban representative and Head of Higher Education, Afghanistan, Mullah Farid had said there is no alternative and co-education must end.
He also said virtuous female lecturers would be allowed to teach only female students but not the male ones.
Farid called co-education the ‘root of all evils in society’, the report said.
In the last two decades, Afghanistan has implemented a mixed system of co-education and gender-based separate classes in all universities and institutes.
Educationalists said government universities would not be affected by the decision but private institutes would struggle with already a low number of female students.
Herat, according to official estimates, has 40,000 students and 2,000 lecturers in private and government universities and colleges.