Former Afghan President Karzai talks with Taliban about power transfer

Former Afghanistan president Karzai talks with Taliban about power transfer
A Taliban photograph shows Hamid Karzai, centre left, talking to Anas Haqqani, right, leader of the Haqqani Network of the Taliban. Source: Taliban/AP
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Daily US Times: A senior Taliban commander met Hamid Karzai, the former Afghan president, for talks on Wednesday, as the Taliban worked to establish a government in the country amid allegations of children and women being beaten and at least three protesters being shot dead.

Hamid Karzai was president of Afghanistan from December 2001 to September 2014. He has been leading efforts to ensure there is a peaceful transfer of power after Taliban established total control of Afghanistan on Sunday while the Taliban declared themselves the victorious rulers of Afghanistan.

Ashraf Ghani’s whereabouts have been the source of much speculation, but the United Arab Emirates (UAE) foreign ministry confirmed in a statement that he and his family had been welcomed into the UAE “on humanitarian grounds”.

Mr Ghani said late on Wednesday that he hoped to return home, and expressed support for discussions between the Taliban and top former officials.

He said in a video message: “For now, I am in the Emirates so that bloodshed and chaos is stopped.” This was his first appearance since leaving the capital on Sunday.

The former president said he had “no intention” to remain in exile, adding that “I am currently in talks to return to Afghanistan.”

Many people in Afghanistan consider that Ghani has betrayed his country, and the Afghan embassy in Tajikistan urged Interpol arrest warrant to be issued for Ghani on the grounds of “treasury theft”.

Asked for a US reaction to Ghani’s flight to the UAE, Wendy Sherman, the deputy secretary of state, was succinct and pointed.

She said: “He is no longer a figure in Afghanistan.”

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