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Taliban co-founder Abdul Ghani Baradar at talks in Qatar on 29 February 2020 Taliban co-founder Abdul Ghani Baradar at talks in Qatar on 29 February 2020  (AFP or licensors)

Taliban grandee arrives in Kabul to forge “inclusive government”

Taliban co-founder Abdul Ghani Baradar has touched down Kabul for talks as the group plots a new government. The group insists the new administration will be inclusive, but many remain skeptical.

By Nathan Morley

It is reported that Baradar will talk to former government officials, religious scholars and militia commanders to discuss forming an “inclusive government”.

Eyebrows were raised when it was revealed that Khalil Haqqani — one of America”s most wanted terrorists – was reportedly also taking part in the talks.

During the fallout following the pullout of Russian troops in the 1980s, Haqqani forged close ties with foreign jihadists – oncluding Osama bin Laden.

Former president Hamid Karzai, who remained in the country, is also understood to have been requested to meet Baradar.

Chaotic airport scenes

Meanwhile, across the city, the scene at Kabul airport remains chaotic as thousands of people desperately scramble to leave the country.

Roadblocks manned by Taliban soldiers aimed at checking the identities of those attempting to flee continue to compound matters.

Commenting on the chaos, a Taliban spokesman said Western powers “should have had a better plan”. Commenting on the evacuation mission, US President Joe Biden described it as one of the “biggest, most difficult airlifts in history”.

“Make no mistake, this evacuation mission is dangerous. It involves risks to our armed forces and it’s being conducted under difficult circumstances,” Biden told reporters.

“I cannot promise what the final outcome will be or that it will be without risk of loss. But as commander in chief, I can assure you that I will mobilise every resource necessary”.

Continuing US presence

As it stands, the United States has 6,000 military personnel on the ground in Afghanistan helping the evacuation effort.

Recent events in Kabul have become among the angriest topics in American political life. President Biden is reeling after his intelligence services seemed to seriously misjudge the situation in Afghanistan.

Elsewhere, the UN World Food Programme is warning of a humanitarian crisis unfolding in Afghanistan.

Latest UN analysis indicates that 14 million people are at risk of malnutrition, including two million children.

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21 August 2021, 15:26