Taliban may not announce new government until August 31 as per 'deal' with US: Report
The Taliban might wait till August 31 when the United States is scheduled to complete the withdrawal of its forces from the country, an Afghan official with talks with the Taliban said to the Associated Press on the condition of anonymity. Taliban lead negotiator Anas Haqqani has told his ex-government interlocutors that the Taliban has a deal with the US “to do nothing” until after the final withdrawal date passes, the Afghan official told the international news agency.
The country is in disarray after Ashraf Ghani left on August 15 following the fall of Kabul, a day after Ghani promised safety, security and resistance to the Taliban. Since then, the Taliban are in the power of the country but nothing has been formalised on the governance front. First, it was reported that an interim set-up will be in place which will be headed by former Afghanistan minister Ali Ahmad Jalali, but later it was said that after the massive sweep, the Taliban are now looking for a complete capture of the country, without having to share the power with anyone. Jalali too clarified that he was not considered for such a post and neither will he be interested in such a position.
At present, there is no government in place while foreign forces are scrambling to evacuate their people from the country. Former vice president Amrullah Saleh who left Kabul on August 15 and is probably at Panjshir Valley has declared himself the caretaker president of the country. The Taliban have addressed a press conference through which it sent across a moderate message to the world that the Taliban want peaceful ties with all countries and there will be no vengeance. Women will have their rights under Sharia law, the group said.
On Friday, the scene at mosques was uneventful as no Taliban gunmen were seen guarding the entrance of mosques or enforcing dress codes like past. Reports said the Taliban have urged the imams to use these Friday prayers to appeal for unity and to make sure that people do not flee the country.
The Taliban on its official Twitter account have announced the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan on August 19 on the occasion of the 102nd anniversary of Afghanistan's independence from British rule.
But how will the Taliban govern the country? Taliban leaders Waheedullah Hashimi told Reuters that the governance structure will not be democracy as "democracy does not have any base in teh country". A council will govern the day-to-day affairs while the Taliban aim to refurbish the army inviting Afghan soldiers and pilots.
But the latest revelation makes it clear that the Taliban are in no hurry "to govern" but it has also triggered speculations over what might happen after August 31. "Haqqani’s statement raises concerns about what the religious movement might be planning after August 31, and whether they will keep their promise to include non-Taliban officials in the next government. Until now the Taliban have said nothing of their plans to replace the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces, or what a replacement would look like," the Associated Press said.
(With agency inputs)