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Saturday, January 29, 2022

Afghan delegation ‘seeks temporary asylum’ in Qatar as Ghani flees to UAE


Afghan President Ashraf Ghani reportedly moved from Tajikistan to the UAE.

The Afghan government delegation has reportedly requested temporary shelter in Qatar following the Taliban takeover, Afghanistan’s Pajhwok news agency reported on Wednesday.

According to the report, the government delegation sought asylum in the Gulf state – which has been playing a mediating role in the peace process – until an inclusive government is formed.

The delegation is currently in Doha for talks with the Taliban to discuss the new governance of the country.

However, since the Taliban’s capture of Kabul on Sunday, there have been no public statements regarding talks and the future of Afghanistan from delegates in Doha.

Afghanistan is now at a critical point and world powers are rallying for a political resolution to the rapidly developing situation. The Taliban captured Kabul on Sunday without a fight after weeks of seizing provincial capitals amid a US and NATO troop pull out from the country.

Since then, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled to Tajikistan, claiming he was “preventing bloodshed”. However, reports on Wednesday confirmed he had now fled to the United Arab Emirates “with tonnes of cash”.

Qatar holds calls with world leaders as Taliban holds first presser in Kabul

News of his departure was confirmed by TOLOnews on Wednesday which said the Afghan embassy in Tajikistan asked Interpol to detain the former president, National Security Adviser Hamdullah Mohib and the head of the president’s administrative office, Fazal Mahmood Fazli on charges of stealing public wealth.

The UAE’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation meanwhile said it has “welcomed President Ashraf Ghani and his family into the country on humanitarian grounds”.

According to the Afghan news outlet, Kabul’s ambassador to Tajikistan Mohammad Zahir said Amrullah Saleh would become the acting president as the constitution states that the first vice president would be the next in line for presidency in the absence, escape or death of the president.

Meanwhile, Taliban member Anas Haqqani and Afghan government officials met in Kabul on Wednesday. The Afghan delegation included former president Hamid Karzai and chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation Abdullah Abdullah.

Sources told TOLOnews that the meeting took place at Abdullah’s house, with the Taliban also confirming it seeks to establish an inclusive government in Afghanistan.

On Tuesday, the Taliban held its first press conference since taking over the country, with some members revealing their faces to the public for the first time.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid made several promises about the group’s leadership, among them respecting women’s rights and forgiving those who fought against the group. The Taliban declared the end of the Afghan war.

“We want to make sure that Afghanistan is not the field of conflict, a battlefield of conflict anymore. We have pardoned anyone, all those who had fought against us,” he said during the opening of the press conference.

Earlier, the group also announced “amnesty” for all in Afghanistan and urged women to join its government.

Member of the Taliban’s Cultural Commission Enamullah Samangani said, on Afghan state television, that “the Islamic Emirate don’t want women to be victims.”

The group claimed news reports are only spreading “propaganda” against it and vowed to not carry out attacks against civilians in the country.

Despite this, worries over the Taliban’s seizure have remained high. In particular, Afghan women and girls have been left fearful of their fate due to the group’s previous treatment of females.

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