Taliban's Mullah Baradar to be Afghanistan's new President as Ashraf Ghani resigns?
In a breaking development, Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani will tender his resignation as the government surrendered to the Taliban forces in Kabul on Sunday. According to sources, Taliban negotiators have moved to the Afghan presidential palace to prepare for a 'transfer' of power. Following talks between the Afghan government and Taliban negotiators, an interim government led by the Taliban has been announced. The new Afghanistan government will reportedly be led by top Taliban leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar. As per sources, Mullah Baradar has the support of Qatar, which has been helping the Taliban and Afghan govt negotiate.
Taliban issues statement after entering Kabul
After infiltrating the outskirts of Kabul, the Taliban has issued a statement saying that they have no plans to take the Afghan capital by force. Three Afghan officials have told AP that the fighters were in the districts of Kalakan, Qarabagh, and Paghman in the capital. The Taliban's statement comes after the Afghan Interior Ministry announced that the Taliban had begun entering the Afghan capital from all sides.
"The Taliban instructs all its forces to stand at the gates of Kabul, not to try to enter the city. Till the completion of the transition process, the security of Kabul city must be maintained. We do not intend to take revenge on anyone, all those who have served in military and civilian sectors in the Kabul administration are forgiven and safe. All should stay in their own place and home and not try to leave the country," stated the Taliban.
Earlier today, Afghanistan's Acting Interior Minister Abdul Sattar Mirzakwal also announced that Kabul will not be attacked by the Taliban and that the transition will happen peacefully, as per Tolo news. He assured residents that security forces will ensure the security of the city.
The fall of Mazar-e-Sharif - a heavily defended city on Sunday morning sent the Afghanistan crisis spinning out of control. With control over Mazar-e-Sharif, the Taliban confined the Ashraf Ghani-led government to the centre and east. Given this major leverage, the nation failed to protect its capital. The militant group took over all border posts leading to Kabul, leaving only Kabul airport as the remaining exit from the war-torn nation. Helicopters were seen landing at the US Embassy in Kabul as diplomatic vehicles began to leave the compound after destroying sensitive documents.