Middle East/North Africa

Top Taliban leader arrives in Kabul for talks

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Taliban co-founder Abdul Ghani Baradar has arrived in Kabul for talks over the formation of a new government in Afghanistan.

Baradar is considered the top political leader of the insurgent group and was involved in peace talk negotiations while in Qatar, The Washington Post reported.

“He will be in Kabul to meet jihadi leaders and politicians for an inclusive government set-up,” a senior Taliban official told Agence France-Presse.

A Taliban official told Reuters that the group of leaders involved in the talks would have a governing structure framework within a few weeks. Other groups would begin working on issues such as finances and internal security.

The official also said the framework “will protect everyone’s rights” but will not be a democracy by Western standards, according to the wire service.

The last time the Taliban controlled Afghanistan was from 1996 to 2001, the Post reported. Reuters noted that though the group is known for its hard-line version of Sunni Islam, it has signaled some possible changes in its stance, including respecting women under the Islamic law framework and not going after former enemies.

The upcoming talks about the formation of a new government are in stark contrast to a week ago when the Taliban had not yet captured Kabul. In just more than a week, the insurgent group took over major cities and a number of provinces.

Those gains culminated in the capture of Kabul on Sunday, including its presidential palace, after Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled the country, saying he wanted to prevent further bloodshed.

Tags Afghanistan Afghanistan withdrawal Ashraf Ghani Taliban
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