'Kill drinkers and adulterers' call in Kabul

Raymond Whitaker
Saturday 28 September 1996 23:02
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The decaying bodies of Afghanistan's former president Najibullah and his brother remained hanging in public for a second day in the capital, Kabul, yesterday as the city's conquerors announced further executions and claimed fresh military advances.

The fundamentalist Taliban militia, which captured Kabul on Friday, said it hanged two more former officials of Najibullah's Communist government. Mohammed es-Haq Tukhi, the executed president's right-hand man and personal secretary from the time he headed the Khad secret police in the early 1980s, and General Jafsar, Najibullah's bodyguard, had spent the past four and half years with him in the United Nations compound to which he fled when his regime collapsed in 1992.

President Burhanuddin Rabbani, who held power after Najibullah's fall, fled northwards on Thursday with Taliban forces in pursuit. Yesterday a spokesman for the movement said it had captured Charikar, the capital of Parwan province, and was closing in on Jabal os Saraj, stronghold of Mr Rabbani's military chief, Ahmed Shah Massoud.

Suspicions that Pakistan is behind the Taliban were reinforced by Islamabad's almost immediate recognition of the movement as the new government of Afghanistan, as well as reports of Urdu-speaking fighters among the forces occupying Kabul. Mr Rabbani, who has frequently accused Pakistan of supporting his opponents, urged other countries to deny them recognition and called on his followers to "struggle against conspiracies of the stooges of foreign circles". In a statement through the Afghan mission to the UN, the ousted president also said he ordered the army to retreat from Kabul to avoid a bloodbath.

In the capital, more shops reopened yesterday and people walked the sunny streets after Radio Kabul made repeated appeals for a return to normal, saying: "Brothers, come to work." But it told women they should stay at home. Clerics, broadcasting on the radio and by loudspeakers in the streets, issued a dress code, instructing men to wear a traditional white skull cap or turban and women to be covered in Islamic dress from head to toe.

A religious scholar, Mullah Agha Gulabi, said adulterers and drinkers must be killed. "God says that those committing adultery should be stoned to death," he told radio listeners. "Anybody who drinks and says that it is not against the Koran, you have to kill him and hang his body for three days until people say this is the body of the drinker who did not obey the Koran and Allah's order."

Then and now, page 18

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