Why Taliban must deal with Amrullah Saleh, Massoud and Dostum: What experts say

Defeating the Afghanistan army after US force withdrawal was easier for the Taliban than setting up a new government that does not encounter the problems of the '90s, analysts have said.
The Taliban will have to consult with leaders representing Uzbeks, Tajiks and Hazaras.
The Taliban will have to consult with leaders representing Uzbeks, Tajiks and Hazaras.
Published on Aug 26, 2021 04:38 PM IST
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By | Written by Poulomi Ghosh

As the Taliban are consulting with Hamid Karzai and Abdullah Abdullah, analysts say that it is time for the Taliban to understand that forming an inclusive government will not be as easy as defeating teh Afghan army was. There are several tall leaders representing different communities in Afghanistan whose opinion, if not support, will be crucial to form the government. If the Taliban want to steer clear from the internal conflict like that erupted during its previous regime, they will have to take some Afghan leaders on their side. And the list does not only include Karzai, the first president of the country after the US invasion, or Abdullah Abdullah. The list also includes warlord Abdul Rashid Dostum, former vice president Amrullah Saleh and Panjshir Resistance leader Ahmad Massoud.

"Despite having the upper hand now, the Taliban realizes any stable governing formation will need to include influential warlords and representatives from ethnic Uzbeks, Tajiks and Hazaras. Without that, the country risks falling into the same sort of internal conflict that erupted in the 1990s," Bloomberg said.

Leaders whom the Taliban must have on board and why

Abdul Rashid Dostum

Dostum is an Uzbek warlord who was supposed to mobilise the army for Ashraf Ghani this time. But Dostum reportedly fled the country before the fall of Kabul. Reports say he is in Turkey and not part of the consultation with the Taliban. But as a former vice president and a warlord, he has a considerable influence on his people.

Peace deal with Panjshir Resistance? Taliban 80% confident, claims report

Amrullah Saleh

The former vice president of Afghanistan vowed to not leave the country, and neither to surrender to the Taliban. The self-proclaimed acting president of the country, one of the leaders of the anti-Taliban forces, has said that the anti-Taliban force will continue fighting and Afghanistan will not become 'Talibanistan'.

Ahmad Massoud

The son of the 'Lion of Panjshir' Ahmad Shah Massoud, Ahmad Massoud, has already sought international support for his movement which he said is not only for Panjshir but for the entire country. Massoud has also said that he is in favour of talks with the Taliban and not war.

Panjshir resistance is a renewed Northern Alliance that was led by Ahmad Shah Massoud when the Taliban came to power in 1996. The Northern Alliance at that time received support from India, Iran, Russia, Turkey, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. At a time when the Taliban are looking for global acceptance and countries are cautiously deliberating over this decision, an all-inclusive government with these Afghan leaders on board might make it easier for the Taliban.

Hamid Karzai and Abdullah Abdullah are already in talks with the Taliban. As the Taliban took over Afghanistan, Karzai, the former president, said he would not leave the country. Abdullah Abdullah, the former advisor of the Northern Alliance, is an ethnic Tajik leader. Another Tajik leader Ata Mohammed Noor, who is currently in Uzbekistan, was one of the first leaders to call for people's uprising when the Taliban began its advances. Mohammad Karim Khalili, the former vice president, is a prominent figure from the minority Hazara community who went to Pakistan after the fall of Kabul on August 15.

(With agency inputs)

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