ISLAMABAD: Amid fierce fighting between the Taliban and Afghanistan’s National Resistance Front (NRF) over the control of Panjshir Valley in the north of Kabul, the militant group has said that it will soon form the country’s future government and ruled out that the delay to make an announcement was caused by a “number of obstacles” in the way.
“Now we live in a completely independent Afghanistan. The new government will be announced very soon,” said Anaamullah Samangani, a member of the Taliban’s cultural commission.
Although Samangani did not give details about the structure and features of the future government, he said it will be an inclusive one and all Afghans will see their representations in it.
Political analysts say, the Taliban realised their shortcoming to run some of the technical ministries without the support of technocrats. “Dozens of our ministries are technical and the Taliban will need experts to run and supervise it,” said Sayed Eshaq Gilani, a political analyst.
With all eyes focused on the upcoming setup in the war-battered country, Afghan women have been protesting almost daily in Kabul and other provincial capitals calling for their right to work and their inclusion in the government. The Taliban have said that women will be a part of their government, but not hold ministerial positions.
On Saturday, Taliban officials had dispersed a demonstration by dozens of women in Kabul demanding their rights. The group targeted them with tear gas and pepper spray as they tried to walk from a bridge to the presidential palace. The Taliban maintain that they took action as the protest went out of control.
Since the Taliban took over control of the country last month, the group had said it will announce the new government after the complete exit of the Western forces. The last American soldier had left Kabul airport on August 30.
Last week, members of the group claimed to announce the government on September 3 after Friday prayers and had also confirmed completion of preparation for the event at Kabul’s presidential palace. Since the last couple of days, the armed group has been saying it will announce the government after crushing resistance in Panjshir.
In Panjshir, the NRF loyal to Ahmad Massoud, a local leaders and son of slain prominent Afghan leader Ahmed Shah Massoud, claimed on Sunday that it had surrounded thousands of Taliban in Khawak Pass (Panjshir) and the group’s fighters abandoned vehicles and equipment in the Dashte Rewak area.
Fahim Dashti, the NRF spokesman, wrote on Twitter that Paryan district had been completely emptied of the insurgents. “Nearly 1,000 Taliban fighters were either killed, wounded, or taken captive after the exit route behind them was closed off,” Dashti said. The information could not be verified independently.
Meanwhile, Taliban spokesman Bilal Karimi posted on Twitter that the group had seized five of the province’s seven districts. “The Mujahideen (Taliban fighters) are advancing toward the centre of the province,” he wrote, without sharing any evidence to prove his claim.
Meanwhile, General Mark Milley, the US chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has questioned whether the Taliban would be able to transition from an insurgent force to a government, saying there was a “good probability” of civil war.
“That will then in turn lead to conditions that could, in fact, lead to a reconstitution of Al-Qaeda or a growth of ISISI or other myriad of terrorist groups,” he told Fox News.