Following the forcible takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban, the country will now be ruled by a council headed by Islamist leader Haibatullah Akhundzada, reported Reuters. The development was confirmed by senior Taliban commander Waheedullah Hashimi.
According to him, the current Taliban rule in Afghanistan will be similar to that of its earlier run between 1996 to 2001. Back then, the Islamist outfit ran the nation through its council while the supreme leader Mullah Omar remained on the sidelines. Waheedullah Hashimi said that the Head of the Council will operate as the President of the nation. He added that the position held by ‘supreme leader’ Haibatullah Akhundzada will be above the position of the Council Head. “Maybe his (Akhundzada’s) deputy will play the role of ‘president’,” Hashimi emphasised.
Although Hashimi conceded that there were issues regarding how the country would be run, he clarified that Afghanistan would not remain a democracy. “There will be no democratic system at all because it does not have any base in our country. 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 stated. He informed that a meeting would be held soon by the top leaders of the Taliban to discuss and decide the course of future governance.
Taliban to recruit pilots, soldiers of Afghan armed forces
Taliban will also try to convince pilots and soldiers in the Afghan armed forces to join them. This is despite the fact that the extremist group has killed 1000s of US-trained Afghan soldiers in the past 20 years. Hashimi had pointed out that the radical Islamist outfit has plans to set up a national force, which will include existing members of the Taliban and those who defect from the Afghan army.
“Most of them have got training in Turkey and Germany and England. So we will talk to them to get back to their positions…Of course, we will have some changes, to have some reforms in the army, but still, we need them and will call them to join us. We have contact with many pilots. And we have asked them to come and join, join their brothers, their government…We called many of them and are in search of (others’) numbers to call them and invite them to their jobs,” Hashimi added.
Taliban Supreme leader has 3 deputies, wants Uzbekistan to return choppers and planes of Afghan army
At this point, the Taliban has no pilots to fly the helicopters and fighter aircraft that they seized from various airfields. According to Hashimi, he was expecting Uzbekistan to return 24 helicopters and 22 military aircraft that landed in Uzbekistan since the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan. It must be mentioned that the current supreme leader Haibatullah Akhundzada has three deputies, namely, Mawlavi Yaqoob, Sirajuddin Haqqani, and Abdul Ghani Baradar. Yaqoob is the son of Mullah Omar while Haqqani is the supremo of the Haqqani network. Baradar is of the Taliban’s founders and runs the Islamist outfit’s office in Doha.
Afghans march through Kabul with national flag to protest against Taliban
On the occasion of Afghanistan’s Independence Day on August 19, scores of citizens of the war-torn state took to the streets of the capital city, Kabul. They marched across the city carrying hundreds of meter-long Afghanistan flags, to protest against the Taliban’s takeover of the war-ravaged country. Videos of the protest are now being widely shared on social media platforms.
According to reports, soon after the Islamist outfit officially declared Afghanistan as an ‘Islamic Emirate’ on the country’s 102nd Independence Day from British control in 1919, Afghan nationals, comprising of men, women, and children hit the streets of Kabul. Amidst loud cheers of ‘Long Live Afghanistan’ and ‘Our flag, our identity’, these protestors have been marching through the city with the national flag.
Besides Kabul, the Afghans showed their dissent against the now ruling Talibanis by hoisting their national flag in various other places in the country. In videos of Abdul Haq Square flooding the social media space, two men were seen climbing twin flagpoles to unfurl the national flag. People were also seen cheering as they wave tiny, plastic replicas of the Afghan flag.