Mullah Baradar to lead new Afghan government: After the Taliban captured Kabul on August 15 and revolted in many parts of the country, there was resistance in the Panjshir Valley, north of the capital, causing heavy fighting and casualties.
Mullah Baradar, who heads the Taliban’s political office, will join senior government officials Mullah Mohammad Yaqub, son of the late Taliban founder Mullah Omar and Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekjoy, according to three sources.
“All the top leaders have arrived in Kabul, where preparations are underway to announce a new government,” a Taliban official told Reuters anonymously.
After the Taliban captured Kabul on August 15 and revolted in many parts of the country, there was resistance in the Panjshir Valley, north of the capital, causing heavy fighting and casualties.
Under the leadership of Ahmed Masood, the son of former Mujahideen commander Ahmad Shah Masood, the remains of several thousand regional militias and government armed forces gathered in the rough valley.
Attempts to negotiate a solution seem to have failed, with each party blaming the other for the failure.
In the eyes of international donors and investors, government legitimacy is key to the famine-stricken economy and the devastation of the conflict that has killed 240,000 Afghans.
Humanitarian groups have warned of impending disaster and the economy, which for years relied on millions of dollars in foreign aid, is on the verge of collapse.
“Since August 15, we have seen the crisis accelerate and escalate, with the economic downturn coming towards this country,” Mary-Ellen McGrotti, director of the World Food Program in Afghanistan, told Reuters from Kabul.
U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration has no plans to release billions in Afghan gold, investments, and foreign currency reserves parked in the U.S., which have been frozen since the Taliban’s takeover.
In a positive development, a senior executive of Western Union Co. said it was resuming money transfer services to Afghanistan under U.S. pressure to continue humanitarian work.
When the Taliban ruled from 1996 to 2001, they enforced Sharia or Islamic law.
But this time, the movement sought to show the world a more moderate face, promising to protect human rights and refrain from retaliating against old enemies.
The Taliban have promised that foreigners or Afghans will be safely evacuated by a massive airlift that ends with the withdrawal of U.S. forces before the August 31 deadline. But, as Kabul airport is still closed, many are trying to travel by land.
Thousands of Afghans, some without documents, others have pending U.S. visa applications or their families have mixed immigration status, even waiting in “transit hubs” in third countries.