In yet another setback for politics in Afghanistan, former governor of Nangarhar province Mohammad Shafiq Gul Agha Sherzai on Sunday pledged his allegiance to the Taliban, as per local Afghan reports. Sherzai, who was governor of Nangarhar in 2005 was termed as ‘bulldozer’ by the terror group. As per reports, Sherzai, a Pashtun from the Barakzai tribe, had fought against the Soviet invasion into Afghanistan and was Kandahar’s governor before being ousted by the Taliban in 2001, state reports.
Another Afghan politicians pledges support
This development comes a day after Afghanistan’s ex-President Ashraf Ghani’s brother Hashmat Ghani Ahmadzai has allegedly pledged allegiance to the Taliban. As per reports, Hashmat Ghani Ahmadzai – chief of the Grand Council of Kuchis – announced his support for the terror group in the presence of Taliban Taliban leader Khalil-ur-Rehman and religious scholar Mufti Mahmood Zakir. The ex-President who fled Afghanistan amid Taliban takeover is now settled in UAE along with his family.
Ghani flees Afghanistan
On Wednesday, a series of tweets by Kabul News revealed Ghani has settled in Abu Dhabi, the capital of UAE, after fleeing Kabul four days ago. Ghani had earlier attempted to neighbouring Tajikistan, but his plane was denied permission to land there. Ghani had defended his flight saying that he had no other choice and ‘would contribute a development plan for the country’s future’.
Meanwhile, his vice-president – Amrullah Saleh came forward to stake his claim as the ‘legitimate caretaker President’ of Afghanistan. Taking to Twitter, Amrullah Saleh stated that in case of absence, escape, resignation, or death of the serving President, the Vice President becomes the caretaker President. Saleh, who has vowed to never bow down to Taliban, is reportedly in the Panjshir province, allegedly cobbling up a resistance against the Taliban. As per the latest reports, the districts of Deh-e-Salah, Pul-e-Hesar and Banu have been taken back by Afghan Resistance against the Taliban from the terror group.
The Taliban took over Kabul on Sunday after major cities like Kandahar, Herat, Mazar-e-Sharif, Jalalabad and Lashkar Gah fell without resistance as US troops retreat after 20 years from war-torn Afghanistan. The hasty withdrawal of the US troops saw thousands of people attempting to flee from Afghanistan with several clinging to a departing US plane’s wheels, leading to them falling to their deaths. With the US troops taking over the Kabul airport, US President Joe Biden has defended the troops’ withdrawal, blaming Afghan govt and troops of not putting up a fight. Taliban is now in talks with ex-Presidents Hamid Karzai and Abdullah Abdullah for a ‘peaceful power transition’. Evacuation of Afghans and other nationals is underway from Kabul airport which is under US troops’ control.