Middle East/North Africa

Karzai says Taliban were invited to take Afghan capital

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Former Afghan President Hamid Karzai said in an interview with The Associated Press the Taliban was invited to the capital before the takeover of Kabul on Aug. 15.

Karzai revealed that he had invited the Taliban, who had agreed to wait outside of Kabul, to discuss a negotiated power-sharing agreement. 

The negotiations with the Taliban to peacefully take over were “to protect the population so that the country, the city doesn’t fall into chaos and the unwanted elements who would probably loot the country, loot shops,” Karzai said.

The day the Taliban came into power they told Karzai government officials should stay in their place and they would not invade.

“I and others spoke to various officials and assurances were given to us that, yes, that was the case, that the Americans and the government forces were holding firm to the places [and] that Kabul would not fall,” he said.

As negotiations were happening, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and other government officials left the country, in a move that hindered a peaceful transition agreement, according to Karzai.

“Absolutely. Absolutely. That is what we were preparing for, what we were hoping [along] with the chairman of the peace council to go to Doha that evening, or the next morning, and to finalize the agreement,” he told the AP. “And I believe the Taliban leaders were also waiting for us in Doha for the same … objective, for the same purpose.”

Since the takeover of the Taliban, the international community has been wary of how to engage with the nation.

Karzai is working to get the Taliban to agree to a temporary resurgence of the constitution that was in place when Afghanistan was a monarchy but said no deal would be made without women’s rights at the top of the list.

Karzai said the international community must engage with Afghanistan and the Taliban as the country attempts to rebuild, according to the AP.

Tags Afghanistan fall of kabul Hamid Karzai Taliban

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