KABUL (Dispatches) – Taliban co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar arrived in Kabul on Saturday for talks on establishing a new inclusive government in Afghanistan, a senior official said.
Other senior Taliban leaders seen in the capital in recent days include Khalil Haqqani.
Pro-Taliban social media feeds showed Haqqani meeting Gulbuddin Hekmatyar -- a former rival during the civil war of the early 1990s, but still influential in Afghan politics.
A senior Taliban official told AFP that Baradar would meet “leaders and politicians for an inclusive government set-up”.
Baradar arrived in Afghanistan last Tuesday from Qatar, choosing to touch down in the country’s second-biggest city Kandahar -- the Taliban’s spiritual birthplace.
Within hours of his return, the group announced its rule would be “different” this time.
The Taliban have said they want this iteration of their government to be inclusive.
Baradar was appointed head of the Taliban’s political office in Doha, where he oversaw the signing of the agreement that led to the agreement for U.S. troops to withdraw and end their 20-year campaign.
Meanwhile, a Taliban official has vowed accountability for the conduct of its members across Afghanistan, insisting that the militant group will probe reports of any reprisals or atrocities by its forces.
“We have heard of some cases of atrocities and crimes against civilians,” Reuters on Saturday cited what it described as an official speaking on condition of anonymity. “If Talibs (members) are doing these law and order problems, they will be investigated.”
The chaos at Kabul airport, besieged by thousands of frantic people struggling to flee, was not the responsibility of the Taliban, he said, referring to hundreds of Afghans swarming U.S. aircraft to flee the country. “The West could have had a better plan to evacuate.”
“We can understand the panic, stress and anxiety. People think we will not be accountable, but that will not be the case,” he said, claiming that the group planned to ready a new model for governing Afghanistan within the next few weeks.
However, the new framework for governing the war-torn nation would not represent a democracy per the Western definition, he said, insisting that “it will protect everyone’s rights.”
“Legal, religious and foreign policy experts in the Taliban aim to present the new governing framework in the next few weeks,” the official said.