New Delhi, August 18
The Taliban on Wednesday began political consultations with the remnants of the previous regime while protests were held in Nangarhar, Khost and Kunar provinces, all bordering Pakistan, in which two were killed.
The youngest member of the Taliban peace council Anas Haqqani met former Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Reconciliation Council chief Abdullah Abdullah for consultations but there was no word on what was discussed.
The talks took place while Taliban deputy leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar and eight other high ranking leaders landed in Kandahar on Tuesday from Qatar.
In Kabul, the Taliban did not enforce the full ‘niqab’ on women reporters while news channels debated the pros and cons of the takeover as the group sought to present a reasonable face amidst Canadian PM Justine Trudeau stating that his government will not recognise the insurgent group.
However, the Taliban arrested a woman governor, Salima Mazari, and its cadres went around spraying white paint on pictures of women in storefronts.
While extrication of their staffers and Afghan loyalists by the western countries picked up pace and there was relative calm at the airport, the US aid it was examining the issue of human remains in its aircraft from Kabul as well as investigate the videos of men falling from planes.
Ashraf Ghani had reached Abu Dhabi where he was offered asylum after being refused entry into the US. His lieutenants Hanif Atmar and Rangin Daftar Spanta were accommodated by Turkey after the Taliban took them off a plane headed for Qatar.
The Tajik allies of Ghani were unforgiving, asking the Interpol police to detain him and others on charges of stealing public wealth.
After the severe criticism of the Taliban at the UN Security Council, several countries, including the UK, the US and Australia, issued a joint statement warning the Taliban that it is on watch. “We will monitor closely how any future government ensures rights and freedoms that have become an integral part of the life of women and girls in Afghanistan during the last 20 years,” it said.
“We are deeply worried about Afghan women and girls, their rights to education, work and freedom of movement. We call on those in positions of power and authority across Afghanistan to guarantee their protection,” it said.