Ex-Afghan President Karzai meets Taliban leader; talks to form government
Taliban's Haqqani Network leader Anas Haqqani has reportedly met former Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai for talks in a bid to form a government in the country. Karzai was accompanied by the old government's main peace envoy, Abdullah Abdullah, in the meeting, Reuters reported citing Taliban officials. This comes amid reports that the Taliban is seeking to establish an inclusive government in Afghanistan.
Taliban talking to Afghan politicians to establish inclusive government
The Taliban is having discussions with Afghan politicians and representatives of the international community about forming an "inclusive government," Afghanistan's TOLOnews reported. The Taliban is likely to make the details public soon, the report stated. On Monday, Amir Khan Motaqi, a senior member of the Taliban leadership, in a meeting with Karzai and Abdullah, pledged to establish an inclusive government in the war-torn country.
'Discussions on to establish government accepted by all'
Gul Rahman Qazi, a close aide to Hamid Karzai, said, "The discussion is how can an inclusive government be established that is accepted by all and that will lead society toward prosperity." Separately, Karzai had announced the formation of a coordination council along with Gulbudeen Hekmatyar and Abdullah Abdullah to look at affairs and ensure the smooth transition of power to the Taliban.
What is Haqqani Network?
The Haqqani Network is an important faction of the Taliban, who captured the capital, Kabul, on Sunday. It is a US-designated terror group accused of most of the deadliest attacks in Afghanistan. The Haqqanis are officially subsumed under the larger Taliban organization but they are still known for their independence, fighting acumen, and savvy business dealings. They mostly operate in eastern Afghanistan's rugged mountains.
Taliban will be defeated if no political settlement negotiated: Karzai
Earlier this month, Karzai had said that the Taliban should work on a political settlement rather than continuing violence. He had said the Afghans are giving the Taliban an opportunity, but if the hard-line outfit continues its violence, then the people will confront them. "If the Taliban continue to oppose that—this would be confronted but I want this confrontation to be political, not military."
Former Vice-President Saleh says he is caretaker President
While the Taliban is trying to negotiate with Karzai, former Vice-President Amrullah Saleh said that he will never bow down to the Taliban. He also claimed that he is the caretaker President in the absence of President Ashraf Ghani. "As per the constitution of Afghanistan, in absence, escape, resignation, or death of the President, the VP becomes the caretaker President," Saleh had tweeted.
What is happening in Afghanistan?
Wednesday marks the fourth day since the Taliban seized power in Afghanistan. On Sunday, the Taliban captured the capital Kabul after taking over several key cities in a matter of days. Afghan President Ghani also fled the country on Sunday. The Taliban's military victory came after the United States withdrew troops from the country to end its two-decade-long 'War on Terror'.
Mullah Baradar likely new President; Taliban promises Afghans' safety
Reportedly, Taliban leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar is likely to become Afghanistan's next President. Meanwhile, in its first press conference, the Taliban ensured the safety of Afghans and said it would maintain peaceful relations with other countries. It also promised to uphold women's rights.