Taliban hail suicide bombers as "martyrs," promising kin a piece of land and a monetary incentive.
In a provocative gesture that appears to run counter to its efforts to garner international favor, the Taliban has promised plots of land to families of suicide bombers who targeted the US and Afghan soldiers.
According to Interior Ministry spokesperson Saeed Khosty, the Taliban's acting interior minister, Sirajuddin Haqqani, promised the prize to dozens of family members of bombers gathering at a Kabul hotel on Tuesday.
Haqqani honored the sacrifices of "martyrs and fedayeen," alluding to fighters slain in suicide assaults when he spoke to the crowd on Monday evening. Khosty sent out a tweet.
According to the spokesman, Haqqani referred to them as "heroes of Islam and the homeland." He gave each family 10,000 afghanis (USD 112) and promised them a plot of land at the end of the conference.
In a full auditorium, Khosty uploaded photographs of Haqqani, his face blurred, embracing the relatives.
The incident occurs as the Taliban strive to establish diplomatic relations with a world community that is hesitant to publicly recognize their government in Afghanistan. High-profile Taliban discussions with international leaders have centered on securing aid for destitute Afghans, as the United Nations anticipates that due to a severe economic catastrophe, practically the whole population will fall into poverty.
The Taliban's proposal of prizes for suicide bombs reveals a split in their leadership. They are attempting to portray themselves as responsible rulers who provide security to all and have condemned suicide assaults carried out by their adversaries, the extremist Islamic State. When it comes to their followers, on the other hand, they applaud such techniques.
The Taliban cannot afford to enrage the United States, which has frozen billions of dollars in Afghan assets in US accounts as part of international sanctions. Disbursements totaling 75% of the previous government's spending were halted by international monetary bodies.
At the same time, the Taliban cannot afford to lose their hardline base, particularly in light of the mounting threat from ISIS.
Throughout their 20-year struggle, the Taliban used suicide bombs and roadside explosives to wear down Afghan and US soldiers.
The international world has responded to the Taliban's call for recognition by imposing conditions, particularly on the treatment of women and girls.