Conflicts & War

Taliban move step closer to form Afghan government as Kabul stays tense

Kabul, Aug 19 (EFE).- The Afghan interim council, formed to assist in the power transfer following President Ashraf Ghani’s escape, has met several Taliban leaders to discuss issues related to control and security during the transition process.

The Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation, Abdullah Abdullah, met Khalil al-Rahman Haqqani, a senior member of the Haqqani Group, and a Taliban delegation last night at his residence, Abdullah Tweeted Thursday.

Former Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Senate Fazal Hadi Muslimyar attended the meeting.

The council members and the Taliban “exchanged views on the security of citizens in Kabul & across Afghanistan, unity & cooperation for the future of the country,” Abdullah said.

Abdullah stressed that “collective security of the people, protecting their life & property should be our main priority.”

At the meeting, the reconciliation council chairman advocated an “an independent & unified Afghanistan based on justice & fairness.”

Haqqani said their forces would “work hard to provide the right to security for the citizens of Kabul.”

He asked for the help and support of political leaders and elders to provide security for the people, he said.

The statement on the meeting comes amid preparations by the insurgent leaders to announce the structure of a new government.

Fighting and violence have significantly reduced in Afghanistan with the surrender of the government troops and the resounding victory of the Taliban.

However, the situation has turned tenser with the Taliban in charge of security and controlling the streets.

There is anxiety among people over the return of the insurgents, who ruled with an iron fist between 1996 and 2001.

“Most of the big business centers are closed and only a few general stores are open,” Hamza, a resident of Kabul, told EFE.

Hamza said the city was in fear, and people would not come out of their homes.

Protests erupted in different parts of the city in support of the Afghan national flag against that of the Taliban.

The demonstrations took place in Nangarhar, Laghman, Paktia and Pakteka provinces.

“The national flag is our national identification,” Ali Khan, a protester told, EFE.

Over the last two days, citizens in Jalalabad, Khost, and Takhar took to the streets in support of the Afghan tricolor.

Meanwhile, Amrullah Saleh, the first vice-president of Afghanistan, has declared himself interim president after Ghani left the country.

Saleh has called for resistance against the Islamist militia group.

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