A number of civil society groups on Tuesday asked the government to arrest and try the individuals who mourned Mullah Omar’s death in Kabul last week.
The groups said that holding mourning ceremonies for Mullah Omar, the late former Taliban supreme commander, is akin to supporting the Taliban insurgency and ignoring the thousands of innocent Afghans who have died at their hands.
Last week, following the Taliban’s acknowledgment of the death of their leader, a number of High Peace Council members, Ulema Council members, and Islamic Revolution Movement party leaders publicly mourned the passing of Mullah Omar in the capital. Civil society leaders have claimed the showing is evidence of Taliban sympathizers within the government.
“This is an indifference to the blood of thousands of martyrs, direct enmity with the people of Afghanistan and the presence of a fifth pillar of enemies within the system,” civil society activist Abdullah Ahmadi said on Monday.
“The government needs to bring the organizers of these events to justice,” activist Naeem Nazari said.
Even some former Taliban members have raised questions about the overt showings of support for the man who led the group.
The Afghan security forces have been ordered to prevent any kind of gathering expressing sympathy for Mullah Omar.
Meanwhile, five Taliban members were killed on Monday when a gun fight broke out at a mosque in Ghazni province where over 3,000 people had gathered to mourn the death of the Omar, local officials reported.
Allegedly most of the attendees of the event were forced to be there, and Taliban insurgents collected money from residents to cover the costs of the ceremony. The event was held in the Qarabaghi area – 15 kms from Ghazni city.
The Interior Ministry has denounced the mourning events and emphasized the Omar was responsible for untold bloodshed and crimes in Afghanistan, both during the Taliban’s brutal reign and after his government was deposed.
It is believed that Taliban commanders wanted to use the Ghazni event as an opportunity to speak out against the Afghan government but security forces were deployed to prevent that from happening.
While trying to break up the ceremony, Taliban insurgents opened fire on security forces and a gun fight ensued. Five Taliban members were killed and more than 10 injured. Other insurgents, including their commanders who were present, then fled the area, officials said.