KABUL: The Taliban, who promised to form a peaceful government in Afghanistan a decade or two ago, met with former Afghan President Hamid Karzai and former chief executive Abdullah Abdullah on Wednesday as they sought to form a government.
The talks came as former President Ashraf Ghani – who fled Afghanistan after a rebel strike in Kabul over the weekend sealed his return to power – called on the UAE to support the talks. Does and talks to return home.
Nearly two decades after being ousted from the US-led invasion in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks, the Taliban won a power outage in just a few days.
The group has vowed not to retaliate against opponents and disrespect women’s rights, but has serious global concerns about its past brutal human rights record, and thousands of Afghans still fleeing. Trying
As the Taliban move to form a government, leader Hebatullah Akhundzada has ordered the release of “political prisoners” and told provincial governors to release them “without restrictions or conditions,” the group said. Release
Anas Haqqani, a Taliban negotiator, met with Karzai and Abdullah, Afghanistan’s first Western-backed leaders since the fall of the Taliban in 2001, who led the government’s peace council, the site monitoring group said.
Taliban leaders have said they have pardoned all former government officials and thus no one needs to leave the country.
Ghani – who was in the UAE – said he was hosting him and his family “on humanitarian grounds” – and said he wanted the talks to be “successful”.
Demonstrations and shootings.
On Tuesday, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid announced a general amnesty at the movement’s first press conference, saying: “We will not take revenge.”
He said the new government would be “positively different” from his 1996-2001 era, which was notorious for stoning deaths, barring girls from school and allowing women to work in contact with men.
She also said she was “committed to allowing women to work in accordance with Islamic principles.”
But when the Taliban leadership tried to present a new picture, video footage was shot. Pajhwok Afghan NewsA local news agency showed protesters in the eastern city of Dzhalal-Abad carrying Afghan flags as they fled in the background with gunshots.
Residents are protesting the removal of flags in support of the movement, local media reported.
“While I was filming, a student started hitting me with a gun from behind,” said Babrak Amirzada, a journalist with the agency.
Disappointed Afghan citizen.
Afghans and foreigners continued to flee the country on Wednesday, with the United States and other countries accelerating the evacuation of planes from Kabul.
Disappointing scenes from the airport earlier this week have created gruesome images of Afghans fearing the Taliban, and the United States is unable to protect them.
Some of the footage showed hundreds of people running with the US Air Force plane as it skidded off the runway and some clung to it. One man was later found dead in a well at the wheel of a ship.
In Washington, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said that when some of the shots were fired, it was thought that none of them had “hostile intent” and that US officials had instead tried to control the crowd. There was firing as a precaution.
Kirby told reporters that US, Turkish and Afghan troops have full control of both civilian and military sides.
Crowds outside embassies in Kabul rallied around rumors that governments were offering asylum.
At a dramatic end to the Taliban’s occupation, the movement’s co-founder and deputy leader, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, returned to Afghanistan from Qatar late Tuesday.
He chose to touch Kandahar, the country’s second-largest city – the Taliban’s spiritual birthplace and first time in power in the capital.
Human rights concerns.
The UN Human Rights Council said it would hold a special session on Afghanistan next week to address “serious human rights concerns” under the Taliban.
The European Union, the United States and 18 other countries issued a joint statement on Wednesday, saying they were “deeply concerned about Afghan women and girls” and urged the Taliban to ensure their safety.
Demonstrations in support of Afghan citizens, especially women and girls, took place in cities around the world.
US President Joe Biden’s administration has so far responded irresponsibly to the Taliban’s promises of tolerance, saying it is looking at action, not promises.
Meanwhile, Russia and China have agreed to work with the Taliban.