March 07, 2021
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Fresh Firmaans For Foreigners

Taliban militia bans alcohol, pork, music for foreigners

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Fresh Firmaans For Foreigners

Afghanistan's ruling Taliban militia today ordered foreigners to refrain from drinking alcohol, eating pork, listening to loud music and having inappropriate contact with members of the opposite sex.

Foreigners who disobey these rules will be expelled or jailed between three days and one month, depending on the severity of the offence, said a dispatch from Taliban's Bakhtar news agency, citing a decision by information minister Qudratullah Jamal.

"Foreigners should honour the rules of an Islamic society," the decision stated. "We are prohibiting these things because they can destroy our society."

The report added that the decision has not yet been implemented but "will be started in the near future." It said the ruling was not meant to "harass" foreign citizens but rather to ensure compliance with Islamic values.

The decision comes just days after the Taliban ordered female foreign aid workers to refrain from driving, saying it violates Afghan traditions.

It also comes amid growing tensions between the Taliban and the United Nations, which has accused the Islamic militia of harassing its staff.

Today's dispatch from Bakhtar said Taliban will also begin requiring foreigners to sign an agreement to obey Islamic laws before entering the country.

The UN World Food Programme (WFP) has threatened to close down about 130 bakeries in Kabul if the Taliban don't allow women to help assess hunger needs - a measure WFP says is necessary for its bread distribution programme but which Taliban is reluctant to permit.

UN spokeswoman Stephanie Bunker has called the recent Taliban decisions a "narrowing of humanitarian space" in Afghanistan.

Taliban took power in most of Afghanistan in 1996 promising to install a pure version of Islam.

Under Taliban rule, television and music are banned, men are required to wear beards and most girls are not permitted to attend school.

Many of the references in today's dispatch were unclear. There was a reference, for instance, to inappropriate dress for foreigners without any elaboration.

The reference to inappropriate contact between the sexes was also largely unexplained. The report did say, however, that "illegal" sexual relations would be punished in accordance with Islamic law.

No Taliban official was immediately available for comment today.

Taliban have expressed anger at UN sanctions over their refusal to hand over international terrorist Osama bin Laden, accused by Washington of running a global terrorist network.

The militia was also reportedly upset over the international community's alleged failure to recognise their recent success in virtually eradicating opium-producing poppy from Afghanistan.

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