Taliban leader in Kabul to discuss future government

KARIM JAAFAR / AFP (File photo)

Taliban co-founder Mullah Baradar has arrived in the Afghan capital of Kabul for talks with group commanders, former government leaders and religious scholars.

A Taliban official told Reuters on Saturday that the group planned to ready a new model for governing Afghanistan within the next few weeks, with separate teams to tackle internal security and financial issues.

"Experts from the former government will be brought in for crisis management," he said.

The new governance structure would not be a democracy by Western definitions, but "it will protect everyone's rights," the official added.

Baradar, the chief of the Taliban's political office, was part of the group's negotiating team in Doha.

Reported to have been one of the most trusted commanders of the former Taliban supreme leader Mullah Omar, Baradar was captured in 2010 by security forces in Pakistan's southern city of Karachi and released in 2018.

About 12,000 foreigners and Afghans working for embassies and international aid groups have been evacuated from Kabul airport since Taliban forces entered the capital a week ago, a NATO official said.

"The evacuation process is slow, as it is risky, for we don't want any form of clashes with Taliban members or civilians outside the airport," the NATO official told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

"We don't want to start a blame game regarding the evacuation plan."

The Taliban completed a swift takeover of the country, walking into the capital Kabul last Sunday without firing a shot.

Since then, individual Afghans and international aid and advocacy groups have reported harsh retaliation against protests, and roundups of those who had formerly held government positions, criticised the Taliban or worked with Americans.


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