The Taliban said on Tuesday they will temporarily adopt 1964 Constitution that granted women the right to vote, but eliminate any elements they disagree with. The Taliban’s Acting Justice Minister issued a statement saying the Islamists planned to introduce Constitution used during Afghanistan’s shot lived golden age of democracy, but only briefly and with amendments. “The Islamic Emirate will adopt the Constitution of the former king Mohammad Zahir Shah’s time for temporary period,” Mawlavi Abdul Hakeem Sharaee said. But anything in the text to be in conflict with the Sharia law and principles of the Islamic Emirate would be discarded, he added.
Nearly six decades ago, before the world’s super-powers intervened in the country, Afghanistan enjoyed a brief period of constitutional monarchy during the reign of King Mohammad Zahir Khan. The king ratified the Constitution a year after coming to power in 1963, ushering in nearly a decade of parliamentary democracy before he was overthrown in 1973. The 1964 Constitution, which gave women the right to vote for the first time and opened the doors for their increased participation in politics, would appear an awkward fit with the Taliban’s hardline views. The group, which took over power in mid-August, has vowed a softer and more inclusive approach than during their brutal 1996 to 2001 rule. But when they presented their caretaker government earlier this month, all the top positions went to hardliners and now women were included.