President Hamid Karzai.
Taliban group officials met former Afghan President Hamid Karzai for discussions in Kabul on Wednesday, just days after assuming control in Afghanistan, as part of the Taliban's efforts to build a government. Anas Haqqani, the commander and senior leader of the insurgent group Haqqani Network, has met former Afghan President Hamid Karzai.
According to Reuters, Karzai was accompanied by Abdullah Abdullah, the former government's main peace envoy.It's worth noting that the Haqqani Network is a key Taliban faction that took control of Kabul on Sunday. The Haqqani Network, which is based on the Pakistani border, has been accused in recent years of carrying out some of Afghanistan's deadliest insurgent strikes.Meanwhile, as part of a media blitz aimed at reassuring foreign powers and a scared population, the Taliban pledged on Tuesday to respect women's rights, pardon those who opposed them, and ensure Afghanistan does not become a refuge for terrorists.
The Taliban have sought to present themselves as more moderate than when they imposed a rigid form of Islamic authority in the late 1990s, following a lightning onslaught across Afghanistan that saw several cities fall to the rebels without a struggle. However, many Afghans are doubtful, and many have rushed to the airport in a desperate attempt to exit the country.
Older generations recall the Taliban's former regime, when women were mostly restricted to their houses, television and music were outlawed, and public executions were carried out. Months after the 9/11 attacks, which al-Qaida had coordinated from Afghanistan while being sheltered by the Taliban, they were driven from power by a US-led invasion.
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