The Taliban have reportedly reached out to former Afghan President Hamid Karzai in an apparent attempt to fulfill the insurgent group’s pledge of creating an “inclusive” government.
According to The New York Times, Mullah Abdul Rahman Mansour, whom the Taliban has referred to as the acting governor of Kabul, spoke with Karzai and Abdullah Abdullah, head of the former Afghan government’s peace talks, over the weekend.
Abdullah has been hosting meetings with officials, tribal leaders and Taliban members at his home, the Times reports, adding that Taliban guards are stationed outside his home and search every vehicle that enters.
Karzai, who served as Afghanistan’s president from 2001 to 2014, and Abdullah had been on the Taliban’s list of wanted people, the newspaper noted.
The Guardian reported, meanwhile, that Karzai met with senior Taliban commander Anas Haqqani, who serves as leader of the Haqqani Network, which the U.S. considers a terrorist group. That meeting was reportedly to set up the discussion with Mansour that took place this weekend.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled Kabul as the Taliban approached the presidential palace, later saying he did so to prevent further “bloodshed.”
What shape a new governing power in Afghanistan will take is yet to be seen as chaos engulfs Kabul amid evacuation efforts. However, a Taliban member affirmed that Afghanistan would not become a democracy.
“There will be no democratic system at all because it does not have any base in our country,” Waheedullah Hashimi said last week.
“We will not discuss what type of political system should we apply in Afghanistan because it is clear. It is Sharia law and that is it,” he said.