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Afghanistan’s former President Ghani abdicates leaves for Tajikistan

Afghanistan’s former President Ghani abdicates leaves for Tajikistan

Afghanistan’s former President Ashraf Ghani has left for neighbouring Tajikistan after the Taliban logged sweeping victories across the country and besieged Kabul, paving the way for a political transition under duress.

Reuters quoted a  senior Afghan Interior Ministry official as saying that Ghani had left for Tajikistan. The President’s office said it "cannot say anything about Ashraf Ghani's movement for security reasons."

A representative of the Taliban said the group was checking on Ghani's whereabouts.

Ghani’s departure marks an end of an era , whose roots can be traced to the 9/11 attack by Al Qaeda, causing the destruction of twin towers in New York, triggering a savage US assault, leading to the ouster of the Taliban government then.

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The group, whose fighters have now entered Kabul after Ghani’s departure, is already making a herculean effort to rebrand its imaging.

Taliban 2.0 could  have Ahmad Jalali as its new President. He is a U.S.-based academic and former interior minister. In 2014, he was barred from running for president after  he insisted on giving up his US citizenship. Intriguingly, Abdullah Abdullah, the CEO who had a running feud with Ghani for the presidency is not in the dog-house. In fact, he was the bridge during negotiations for the political transition.

Earlier Al Arabiya reported that Mullah Baradar, the Taliban’s face during international negotiations, could be the new President after Ghani’s fall.

Also read:  As Taliban besieges Kabul, political transition in Afghanistan imminent

As events moved with lightning speed, another Reuters report said that an Afghan government delegation, including Abdullah Abdullah, will travel to Qatar on Sunday to meet with  Taliban representatives, an Afghan  negotiator was quoted as saying.

Fawzi Koofi, a member of the Kabul negotiating team, confirmed to Reuters that the delegation would converge in the  Gulf state for a meeting with the Taliban. US officials would also be involved in the talks, the report said.

Also read:  Taliban capture all major cities in Afghanistan, only Kabul remains