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Taliban announce formation of Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan

Days after capturing Afghan capital, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid on Thursday announced the creation of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.

The Taliban spokesperson took to the twitter to make the announcement, saying the group had decided to establish the Islamic Emirate on the occasion of Afghanistan s 102nd anniversary of independence from British rule.

— Zabihullah (@Zabehulah_M33) August 19, 2021

The group used the name for the country when it ruled it between 1996 and 2001, before it was taken from power by US-led forces.

On Tuesday, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said that the new regime would be “positively different” from their 1996-2001 stint.

A Taliban commander and senior leader of the Haqqani Network militant group, Anas Haqqani, had met former Afghan President Hamid Karzai for talks on Wednesday, amid efforts by the Taliban to set up a government.

Karzai was accompanied by the old government’s main peace envoy, Abdullah Abdullah, in the meeting, said the Taliban official, who declined to be identified. He gave no more details.

The Haqqani Network is an important faction of the Taliban, who captured the capital, Kabul, on Sunday.

Earlier, Mawlawi Khairullah Khairkhwah, a member of the Taliban’s political office in Doha who is currently in Kandahar city, had confirmed that Taliban deputy leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar and eight other Taliban members arrived in Kandahar on Tuesday from Qatar.

“We do not see anybody as our enemies anymore now,” said Khairkhwah. He did not provide further details about Baradar’s trip to Kandahar.

The Taliban had also confirmed that they seek to establish an inclusive government in Afghanistan.

The results of their discussions with Afghan politicians and representatives from the international community about forming an “inclusive government” will be made public soon.

Sources close to Karzai and Abdullah Abdullah said that Amir Khan Motaqi, a senior member of the Taliban leadership, in a meeting with Afghan politicians on Monday pledged to establish an inclusive government.

Mutaqi met with Hamid Karzai and Abdullah Abdullah on Monday. “The discussion was how can an inclusive government be established that is accepted by all and that will lead society toward prosperity,” said Gul Rahman Qazi, a close aide to Hamid Karzai.

“They are busy in discussions about an inclusive government, a government that is accepted by all Afghans and where differences are overcome,” said Sayed Akbar Agha, head of the Rah-e-Nejat Council of Afghanistan.

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