No democracy, Afghanistan to be ruled by council: Taliban

The Taliban is also reaching out to pilots and soldiers of the former Afghan government to recruit them in its own national force

The Taliban on Monday granted ‘general amnesty’ to all Afghans and invited women to join government posts.

The Taliban has clarified that there would be no democracy in Afghanistan and that the country will be ruled by a council and the laws will be strictly drawn from sharia.

“There will be no democratic system at all because it does not have any base in our country,” Waheedullah Hashimi, a senior member of the outfit told Reuters.

“We will not discuss what type of political system should we apply in Afghanistan because it is clear. It is sharia law and that is it,” he said.

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The terror outfit’s supreme leader Haibatullah Akhundzada, however, would oversee the working of the council, Hashimi said.

The hierarchy in the council may bear a close resemblance with that set up by the Taliban when it ruled Afghanistan between 1996 and 2001, Hashimi said. At that time, Taliban’s supreme leader Mullah Omar left the management of the country to a council while himself doing the supervision part.

The council’s senior member, whose position will correspond with the post of the president is likely to report to Akhundzada, Hashimi said.

Akhundzada at present has three deputies – Mawlavi Yaqoob, the son of Mullah Omar; Sirajuddin Haqqani, the leader of the Haqqani network, and Abdul Ghani Baradar, one of the founding members of the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Hashimi said further decisions on the model of governance would be discussed at a meeting slated later in the week.

Calling back pilots, soldiers

The Taliban leader has also said that the outfit is reaching out to soldiers and pilots who worked with the former Afghan defence forces to invite them join its own national force that is in the offing.

“Most of them have got training in Turkey and Germany and England. So we will talk to them to get back to their positions,” Hashimi said.

“Of course we will have some changes, to have some reforms in the army, but still we need them and will call them to join us,” he added.

The Taliban leaders stressed on the militant outfit’s urgent need for pilots as it has none to man the helicopters and aircraft seized during their conquest of Afghanistan.

He said the Taliban has already contacted several pilots, formerly working with the Afghan air force, and asked them to “join their brothers, their government.”

“We called many of them and are in search of (others’) numbers to call them and invite them to their jobs,” he said.

Hinting at the escape of several Afghan military personnel to Uzbekistan in 22 military planes and 24 helicopters, Hashimi said the Taliban expects neighbouring countries to return Afghanistan the aircraft that have landed on their territories.

The Taliban on Monday granted ‘general amnesty’ to all Afghans and invited women to join government posts.

However, violence refused to die down in the country as Taliban fighters shot down three protesters in the eastern city of Jalalabad, because they had removed the Taliban flag and replaced it with the black, red and green flag of the previous Afghan government. ,

Late on Wednesday night, Afghan president Ashraf Ghani, who fled soon after the Taliban invaded Kabul, said in a video message that he plans to return to Afghanistan soon.