Taliban co-founder Mullah Baradar will lead a new Afghan government set to be announced shortly, sources in the Islamist group said on Friday, as its fighters battled forces loyal to the vanquished republic in the Panjshir Valley north of Kabul.
Baradar is one of the three deputies of the Taliban’s Supreme Commander Haibatullah Akhundzada, and was the main signatory of the peace deal with the Trump administration in February 2020 that laid out the roadmap for the withdrawal of U.S. and NATO forces from Afghanistan.
He also held secret talks with Central Intelligence Agency Director William Burns late last month and recently met Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.
Baradar, who heads the Taliban’s political office, will be joined by Mullah Mohammad Yaqoob, the son of late Taliban co-founder Mullah Omar, and Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai, in senior positions in the government, three sources said.
“All the top leaders have arrived in Kabul, where preparations are in final stages to announce the new government,” one Taliban official told Reuters, on condition of anonymity.
Militants may use Afghan chaos to infiltrate US, EU, NATO says
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization warned that militants could join migrants fleeing Afghanistan, potentially adding to security threats for Europe and the US.
Pak urges international effort to help Afghanistan
Pakistan is urging the international community to adopt a three-pronged approach to Afghanistan following the Taliban takeover: Quickly deliver aid to 14 million people facing a hunger crisis, promote an inclusive government, and work with the Taliban to attack all terrorist groups in the country.
EU ministers outline conditions
EU officials have said they are willing to cooperate with the Taliban. EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said that to gauge the Taliban’s good will, the bloc would use several benchmarks.
They include a guarantee that Afghanistan won’t become a base for “the export of terrorism to other countries,” a commitment to free access for humanitarian aid deliveries, and adhering to standards in the areas of human rights.
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