Afghanistan’s former president Hamid Karzai and former peace negotiator Abdullah Abdullah have met with Iran’s ambassador in Kabul for talks on ways to restore stability to the war-torn country, following the collapse of the Afghan government and the Taliban militant group’s takeover.
During the meeting, the Iranian envoy, Bahador Aminian, and the senior Afghan figures discussed the need to end the power vacuum in Afghanistan and the formation of a system based on the will of the Afghan people, which would enjoy national and international legitimacy.
The Taliban on Tuesday included Karzai and Abdullah in a 12-member council which will govern Afghanistan during the transition period, according to a source.
Out of the 12 members, seven candidates have been already agreed upon, Asian News International (ANI) quoted a source close to senior Taliban circles as saying, citing Sputnik.
“Afghanistan would be governed by a 12-member council, with the exception of the president and the emirate. So far, the council has agreed on Abdul Ghani Baradar, Mullah Yaqub, Khalil-ur-Rehman Haqqani, Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, Hamid Karzai, Hanif Atmar and Gulbuddin Hekmatyar,” the source said.
The government of Afghanistan rapidly collapsed on August 15 and president Ashraf Ghani fled the country in the face of the lightning advances of the Taliban, following what has been criticized as a hasty withdrawal of American forces from the country, 20 years after they invaded Afghanistan to topple the Taliban.
Iranian President Ebrahim Raeisi said on Monday that different Afghan groups should see the US withdrawal as a turning point and work together to establish an inclusive government.
Iran strongly condemns violence in Afghanistan
Iran’s mission to the UN reaffirmed the country's stance and emphasized the need to protect the lives of Afghan people as well as the rights of women amid the chaos that has engulfed the country in recent weeks.
Esmaeil Baghaei Hamaneh, Iran’s permanent ambassador to the UN office in Geneva, has said Tehran strongly condemns any kind of aggression, extremism, and violation of human rights in Afghanistan.
“Iran strongly condemns any violence and extremism, human rights violations and violations of humanitarian law in Afghanistan. No crime has to be left unpunished,” Baghaei Hamaneh told a special session of the UN Human Rights Council on Afghanistan.
He said the Afghan people deserve to live in peace and have good relations with neighbors without illegal military interference, saying this can only be achieved with an inclusive government.
“The current situation in Afghanistan is the result of a long-term military intervention led by the United States, which has left the country in destruction, suffering, despair and instability and has spread insecurity and instability in the region,” the Iranian envoy said.
He added the achievements of the Afghan people must not be threatened.
Baghaei Hamaneh also called on the international community to live up to its commitments to provide adequate vaccines for Afghan refugees against COVID-19.