Zalmay Khalilzad: The Taliban should listen to Iranian cleric on women’s rights

Veteran US diplomat, Zalmay Khalilzad, has called on the Taliban to listen to the Iranian cleric, Abdolhamid Ismaeelzahi, who, in a Friday sermon, preached that men and women had equal rights to education. A critic of the Iranian government, Abdolhamid Ismaeelzahi is a Baluch Sunni cleric, who in August 2021, congratulated the Taliban’s return to power as a victory achieved with the “help of God.”

Sharing the video of the cleric’s sermon on Twitter, Mr Khalilzad, who negotiated and signed the Doha Deal between the Taliban and the US government, said that “Those Talib leaders who banned girls and women from high schools and universities should listen to Mawlavi Abdul Hamid. In his sermon today (Friday), he says men and women have equal rights to education, and no government or leader can deny them this.”

Many, including some former US government officials, have blamed Zalmay Khalilzad for aiding the Taliban getting back into power, and some harshly criticised his tweet.

Australian academic and former government official, Claude Rakisits, accused Khalilzad of handing the keys of Kabul to the Taliban.

Afghan journalist, Bilal Sarwary, said that Khalilzad had gambled Afghanistan’s future in Doha.

And a former Afghan politician reminded Khalilzad of his promise during the Doha talks.