Springtime in Afghanistan ordinarily brings a spike in violence as the Taliban takes benefit of the thaw to launch a wave of fresh attacks. But the Taliban's leader has just issued a statement calling on Afghans to plant much more trees.
In a public letter issued Sunday in four languages, such as English, Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada stated that, "the Mujahideen and beloved countrymen must join hands in tree planting."
The statement does point out that the Taliban stay, "actively engaged in a struggle against foreign invaders and their hirelings" — a reference to the Kabul government that the militant group seeks to overthrow.
Shah Hussain Murtazawi, deputy spokesman for Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, dismissed the statement as an try to "deceive public opinion" and distract from the Taliban's "crimes and destruction."
"Because the establishment of the Taliban movement the only factors that these folks have in their minds are fighting, crimes and destruction," he mentioned. "How is it attainable for the Taliban to believe about planting trees or protecting the atmosphere in the country?"
Most of Afghanistan's significant cities, like the capital Kabul, are more than populated and there are few public green spaces or parks. According to officials from the Afghan Public Overall health Ministry, up to 4000 citizens die each year in Kabul due to illnesses brought on or exacerbated by air pollution.
Wahid Muzhda, a political analyst in Kabul, said that announcements like this — and other statements where they claim to be developing roads and bridges — could be portion of a Taliban campaign to show that they would supply enlightened leadership in regions of the country that they handle.
Akhunzada's statement cites Islamic tradition and the words and deeds of the Prophet Muhammed to reinforce its environmental message.
"Tree planting plays an critical function in environmental protection, financial improvement and the beautification of the earth. Allah Almighty has interconnected the lives of human beings with plants," it says. "Plants live off soil although humans and animals reside off plants. If the plants and trees are eradicated, life itself would be place in peril, Allah Almighty says."
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