The Taliban announced on Tuesday that Formation of a transitional government Members of the movement’s old guard are honored, assigning several prominent positions to figures who have dominated the 20-year battle against the US-led coalition with the help of its former Afghan government allies.
The movement revealed the identities of some members of its new interim government, which will be led by Mullah Muhammad Hassan Akhund, three weeks after taking power. in Afghanistan.
The formation of the Taliban for their first interim government after the return to power in Kabul, excluding figures from the previous regime, in contrast with the impression generated in recent weeks through Taliban leaders’ meetings with prominent Afghan political figures who have played important roles in the past twenty years, and the promises made by the movement Forming an “understanding” government, according to the Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper.
And if the newly proclaimed government is completely “Taliban”, then what is the fate of its defeated opponents?
The departure of former president Ashraf Ghani from the capital Kabul in mid-August was the official announcement of the fall of his regime and the victory of the Taliban. Ghani hastily left the Afghan capital after the Taliban forces were in outskirts.
He likely feared his fate would be similar to that of former Afghan president Najibullah, hanged by movement fighters after taking control of Kabul in 1996, according to Asharq Al-Awsat. Najibullah at the time resided under the protection of the United Nations at his headquarters in the Afghan capital, but the “diplomatic immunity” of the UN headquarters did not satisfy him, as the movement’s fighters tore him from there and hanged him. in a public place in the capital.
Najibullah was a Communist with ties to the former Soviet Union, and there is a sea of blood between him and the Mujahideen factions. As for Ashraf Ghani, however, he was supported by the Americans, before they abandoned him and left him alone in front of the “Taliban”. He quickly escaped before his fighters could reach him. He boarded a plane that would land in a neighboring country in the former Soviet Union (Tajikistan), before moving to the Emirates, which allowed him to stay for humanitarian reasons.
Karzai, Abdullah and Hekmatyar
Former president Hamid Karzai and former vice president and president of the Supreme Council for National Reconciliation Abdullah Abdullah were among the most prominent political figures who did not leave Kabul after the Taliban took control. The two men held many meetings with senior leaders of the movement, who pledged to maintain their safety and security under the new rule. Abdullah Abdullah currently resides in Karzai’s home in the Afghan capital.
The movement denied the allegations of being under house arrest, noting that the custody assigned to them is to ensure their protection. It does not appear that they are actually subject to procedures that restrict their freedom, in those who participate in various meetings and activities, including communicating with officials from different countries, and have been supporting dialogue with the “Taliban” for years and have participated in contacts with the leaders of the movement in Doha, according to what “Middle East” quoted.
In addition to these two figures, a third leading figure left in Kabul despite his previous strong hostility to the “Taliban” is Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. The historic leader of the Islamic Party did not try to escape his former enemies; Perhaps tired of a life of combat, Hekmatyar fought the Soviet Red Army throughout the 1980s, and then fought the Communist government left by the Russians in Kabul. After the collapse of this government in 1992, Pashtun Hekmatyar fought a bloody war for control of Kabul against his Tajik archrival Ahmed Shah Massoud, a prominent leader of the “Islamic Society”. When the “Taliban” movement appeared in the mid-1990s and tried to take over Kabul, Hekmatyar allied with Massoud to stop its advance, but they were not in able to do so.
Then, the two men sought refuge in the north of the country, and with other parties formed what was known as the “Northern Alliance”, which remained stuck until 2001, when the Americans used it to overthrow the “Taliban” government. But Hekmatyar’s role is not over in that moment, as he fled in Iran then returned to its old strongholds in eastern Afghanistan to wage a war against the Americans. But his party was suffering disintegration, and he could not repeat his victories against the Soviets in front of the Americans, especially since the banner of “resistance” had been in much of it transferred into the hands of the “Haqqani Network”, the branch of the “Taliban” in the south-east of the country.
After the negotiations of pace with the Afghan government, Hekmatyar decided to move to Kabul, stop his war against the Americans and join the new regime. He participated in the Afghan presidential election, but did not win. He is now one of the characters the “Taliban” are talking to in Kabul and lives under their rule.
Lion of Herat
Muhammad Ismail Khan was one of the most important and historical opponents of the “Taliban” in the west of the country. This former Afghan army officer waged a fierce fight against Russians and Communists in the 1980s, which resulted in his nickname “The Lion of Herat”, his stronghold on the border with Iran. But the nineties brought with them a different opponent, represented in the “Taliban” movement that defeated him, so he fled in Iran.
He returned trying to launch an insurrection against the movement, but was captured and transferred to the Taliban stronghold in Kandahar, where he spent years imprisoned there, but managed to escape before the US invasion in 2001. After the fall of the regime of the movement, the “Lion of Herat” joined the new government of Kabul and held ministerial posts.
When the “Taliban” began their new advance to regain power, in light of the American withdrawal of questyear, Khan stood up to gather his supporters in Herat and prevented him from falling into the hands of the fighters of the movement, but he failed in his mission, and the movement arrested him, but did not take revenge on him, but was allowed to make a declaration in which he invited citizens to collaborate with the movement and also to treat people well. According to Asharq Al-Awsat, the “old Assad” packed his bags and left for Iran, where he is believed to currently live in the city of Mashhad.
Atta Muhammad Nour and Abdul Rashid Dostum
Atta Muhammad Nour and Abd al-Rashid Dostum were among the most prominent figures in given that they could play a role in stopping the expansion of the “Taliban”, especially in their historic strongholds in the north of the country. Atta Nur can lead the Tajiks to confront the “Taliban”, as it did in earlier, and Dostum can repeat the same thing with his Uzbek compatriots. The two men quickly mobilized their supporters in Balkh and Jawzjan, on the borders with Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, but the lightning-fast attack by the Taliban was faster than them, as the defenses of the Uzbeks quickly collapsed in Jawzjan and the Taliban fighters entered the luxurious home of Dostum, and some of them boasted that they had stolen their military clothing, including those adorned with the “Marshal” medals awarded to them by the collapsed Afghan government.
The situation was not the best in nearby Balkh, where Dostum sought refuge, as his capital, Mazar-i-Sharif, fell almost without a fight into the hands of the “Taliban”. Shortly before his fall, Atta Muhammad Nur, along with Dostum, fled via the highway to the border with Uzbekistan. They said they fled after uncovering a plot to hand them over to the “Taliban”.
From time to time in much, Nour Atta makes political statements on the situation in his country. As for Dostum, who was no longer the young general famous for his wars in the nineties and who suffers from health problems, he remained in largely mute, after the leadership of his political party passed to his son. It has recently been reported that they are preparing to provide assistance to relieve pressure on the besieged Tajiks in the Panjshir Valley, but this has not been translated. in reality, including reports of external pressure on them not to take action against the new Afghan government. According to Asharq Al-Awsat, it is not excluded that Dostum will move to reside in Turkey, with which he has close relations, and in which he has lived for many years … He called his son “Mustafa Kemal” after his historical leader, “Ataturk”.
Ahmed Masoud was not an official of the previous Afghan government. He was at the head of a party that he understood in most of the supporters of his late father, Ahmed Shah Massoud, who was assassinated by Al-Qaeda on the eve of the attacks of 11 September 2001. With the fall of Kabul to the Taliban in mid-August, Massoud moved to his father’s stronghold in the valley of the Panjshir. There, many former regime officials joined him, including Vice President Ashraf Ghani, Afghan Defense Minister Bismillah Mohammadi, and hundreds of officers and soldiers.
The “Taliban” tried to negotiate with them and persuade them to lay down their arms, but the two sides could not reach an agreement, so the movement launched a massive attack from more than one front on the difficult valley of the terrain. After days of fighting, the movement took control of the valley, and its opponents fled to the mountains, those natural fortresses that in the 1980s humiliated the Russians, and made the legend of the “Lion of Panjshir” that his son today tried to repeat. facing a different opponent: the “Taliban”.
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