Taliban leader orders decree to stop officials hiring family members

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The leader of the Taliban has ordered officials to sack their sons and other family members, in a decree against nepotism.

The supreme leader, Mullah Hibatullah Akhundzada, made the order barring all officials from hiring relatives in government positions.

The decree also requested that other family relatives already working in their administration be sacked as well.

“It is an order to all officials in the ministries, departments and independent authorities that no one is allowed to appoint family members or relatives in government positions,” the decree, posted to Twitter, read.

Officials must now fill the positions with people other than their sons, relatives or family members.

Although no official reason behind the decision has been made, it follows rumours that Taliban officials have been appointing their sons and relatives in high-ranking government positions, instead of professionals or those with the right qualifications.

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Following the departure of NATO troops in August 2021, the Taliban once again seized power in Afghanistan.

Despite initial promises of a more moderate state, the harsh interpretation of Islamic law – which they used during their previous rule from 1996 to 2001 – has gradually crept back in.

Girls are currently barred from school beyond the age of 12 and women are banned from working, studying and traveling without a male companion, and going to parks, gyms or bathhouses.

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They are also required to cover themselves from head to toe and cannot work at non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

This has disrupted the work of foreign aid groups such as Save The Children, CARE and the Norwegian Refugee Council, which said they are unable to work effectively with women and children without their female staff in place.

In December, Foreign Secretary James Cleverly, accused the Taliban of “trying to erase women from society”, urging officials to change their policy.

He said the move would have catastrophic consequences for the population, depriving them from lifesaving resources.

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