Taliban put 2, including former Afghanistan president Hamid Karzai under 'house arrest': Report

Published on Aug 26, 2021 09:15 PM IST

Former chief executive Abdullah Abdullah, too, is believed to be under house arrest.

Former Afghan president Hamid Karzai (File Photo/AP)
Former Afghan president Hamid Karzai (File Photo/AP)
By, New Delhi

Two of Afghanistan most prominent leaders, former president Hamid Karzai and Abdullah Abdullah, who led the High Council for National Reconciliation (HCNR), have been “effectively” put under house arrest by the Taliban, news agency ANI has reported citing CNN. Last week, Taliban representatives held a meeting with Karzai and Abdullah in what was described as a part of the regime’s effort to form an “inclusive” government.

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The CNN report, which claimed that both were “at the mercy” of the insurgents, further said that the group also confiscated the two leaders’ cars. Additionally, Abdullah’s home is believed to have been “searched” by the extremists. Their security teams have also been taken away.

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Both Karzai and Abdullah stayed back in Kabul after the Taliban captured the Afghan capital on August 15, returning to rule the country for the second time. Kabul’s fall led to an exodus of several high-profile officials, including then-president Ashraf Ghani, who has since been taken in by the United Arab Emirates (UAE); then-National Security Advisor Hamdallah Mohib and Fazal Mahmood Fazli, who held an important position in the president’s office.

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Amrullah Saleh, who was Ghani’s first vice president, and is currently in the Panjshir Valley, has since declared himself as the caretaker president under the Constitution of Afghanistan.

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The Taliban first came to power in the war-torn nation in 1996. Their rule ended in 2001, when international forces led by the US arrived here in the wake of 9/11 attacks. Karzai became Afghanistan’s first president in the post-Taliban era, and was in office till 2014, when Ghani took over. Ghani was re-elected in 2019, defeating Abdullah.

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Earlier this year, US president Joe Biden set August 31 as the date for all American troops in Afghanistan to be pulled out. This signalled the end of the US military’s twenty-year stint in the country, and drove the Taliban towards Kabul.

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