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Is the Taliban thinking of creating a regular army for Afghanistan?

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The Taliban government plans to create a regular army (Photo: IANS)

The Taliban's acting Army Chief, Qari Fasihuddin said that the militant group is holding consultations over creating a regular army for Afghanistan.

Afghan broadcaster TOLO News reported that Fasihuddin made the announcement at a press conference in Kabul on Wednesday.

Fasihuddin is part of the Taliban government that was formed in the first week of September after the departure of American and NATO forces on August 31.

The Taliban had seized capital Kabul on August 15 after the collapse and the capitulation of all major Afghan cities. Even Kabul fell without much resistance as the then President Ashraf Ghani fled to the UAE.

With almost a complete capture of Afghanistan, the Taliban also took possession of a bounty of sophisticated weapons left behind by the Americans. A battle-hardened and formidable fighting force, the Taliban now has access to the most modern weapons that any country possesses, thanks to a chaotic and egregious pullout by the Americans.

The Taliban gleefully paraded captured American weapons—the Humvees and the armoured vehicles—at its birthplace of Kandahar. The militants also managed to fly one of the top-of-the-line Black Hawk helicopters. The militants have been seen sitting on helicopter blades and swinging from the wings of military planes.

Even though the US left behind billions of dollars of military equipment, American officials insist that most of it is non-functional as they had rendered it useless.

Moreover, highly-trained personnel of the Afghan army too are in the country, though most of the soldiers and the policemen are in hiding fearing revenge from the Taliban militants. Their numbers are believed to be between 250,000 and 300,000.

The world is watching the Taliban with a mix of curiosity and caution considering that the group is regarded more for its fighting prowess than governance. Every bit of information that comes out of Kabul, now under a Taliban government, is dissected minutely. The announcement by militants and non-State actors about the formation of an army—a disciplined fighting force—too comes with its shock value.

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