Afghanistan may be governed by a council now that the Taliban has taken over, while Islamist group’s supreme leader Haibatullah Akhundzada would likely remain in overall charge, a senior member of the group said.
Many issues regarding how the Taliban would run Afghanistan have yet to be finalised, Waheedullah Hashimi, who is privy to the group’s decision-making, said in an interview. But Afghanistan would not be a democracy, he added. “We will not discuss what type of political system should we apply in Afghanistan because it is clear. It is Sharia law and that is it.”
He said, “There will be no democratic system at all because it does not have any base in our country.”
Hashimi said he would be joining a meeting of the Taliban leadership that would discuss issues of governance later this week.
The power structure that Hashimi outlined would bear similarities to how Afghanistan was run the last time the Taliban were in power from 1996 to 2001. Then, supreme leader Mullah Omar remained in the shadows and left the day-to-day running of the country to a council.
Akhundzada would likely play a role above the head of the council, who would be akin to the President, Hashimi said.
“Maybe his deputy will play the role of president,” Hashimi said, speaking in English.
The Taliban’s supreme leader has three deputies: Mawlavi Yaqoob, son of Mullah Omar, Sirajuddin Haqqani, leader of the powerful militant Haqqani network, and Abdul Ghani Baradar, who heads the political office in Doha and is one of the founding members of the group.
The Taliban would also reach out to former pilots and soldiers from the Afghan armed forces to join its ranks, Hashimi said.
On recruiting soldiers and pilots who fought for the ousted Afghan government, Hashimi said the Taliban planned to set up a new national force that would include its own members and the government soldiers willing to join.
“Most of them have got training in Turkey and Germany and England. So we will talk to them to get back to their positions,” he said. “Of course we will have some changes, to have some reforms in the army, but still we need them and will call them to join us.”
How successful that recruitment is remains to be seen. Thousands of soldiers have been killed by Taliban insurgents over the last 20 years.
Former President Hamid Karzai met a Taliban commander and senior leader of the Haqqani network militant group, Anas Haqqani, for talks on transition, a Taliban official said on 18 August.
Karzai was accompanied by the old government’s main peace envoy, Abdullah Abdullah, in the meeting, said the Taliban official. He gave no more details.