A day after the Taliban seized Afghanistan’s capital Kabul and embattled President Ashraf Ghani fled the country on Sunday evening, the outfit has declared the war in Afghanistan “over”.
Ashraf’s departure has given space for the Taliban fighters to regain power in the landlocked nation 20 years after a US-led military invasion deposed them.
A spokesman for the Taliban’s political office told Al Jazeera stated the type and form of the new government in Afghanistan would be made clear soon and called for peaceful international relations.
“Thanks to God, the war is over in the country,” he said to the news outlet.
“We have reached what we were seeking, which is the freedom of our country and the independence of our people,” adding, “We will not allow anyone to use our lands to target anyone, and we do not want to harm others.”
As per several reports, Ghani has left for Tajikistan or Uzbekistan. Moreover, along with Ghani, National Security Adviser Hamdullah Muhib has also left the country.
According to a report from Afghanistan’s TOLO News, acting defense minister Bismillah Mohammadi stated that the “president has handed the authority of solving the crisis in the country to political leaders”.
Mohammadi said that a “delegation will travel to Doha on Monday for talks on the country’s situation”.
Taking to Twitter, residents branded the president a ‘coward’ for leaving them in chaos. ”We are all banging our heads in shame”, a tweet from the verified account of the Afghan Embassy in India read.
Later, Ghani explained the reason for his exit. In a long Facebook post written in Pashto, the former Afghan president said he left the war-torn country to ‘avoid bloodshed.
Fearing that the Taliban could reimpose the kind of brutal rule, citizens in massive numbers were seen at Kabul airport to flee Afghanistan. The main road to the Kabul airport is packed with people desperately trying to escape the country.
However, as per the latest report, all commercial flights are suspended at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, a statement read. The statement called on the people to avoid crowds at the airport.
Notably, during their rule from 1996-2001, the Taliban, a Deobandi Islamist movement and insurgent outfit enforced the strict interpretation of the Sharia Law of Islam, that primarily prevented women from socialising, receiving an education, and required that women were accompanied by a male relative and wear a burqa at all times when in public. On violating these rules, women were publicly whipped or executed.