Abdul Ghani Baradar, the Taliban leader who proclaimed the emirate
In a video message he speaks of an unexpected victory in speed and ease. The now ex-president Ghani justifies his flight abroad with the aim of averting martyrdom and the destruction of the capital. US forces take control of the airport, stormed by thousands of civilians trying to escape. Russia and China keep their embassies open.
Kabul (AsiaNews) - "It is an unexpected victory" in terms of speed and ease and must now be followed by "humility before Allah" because this "is the moment of trial, it is about how we serve and protect our people. And how we ensure their future and the life" of the citizens of Afghanistan, now renamed "Islamic Emirate".
This was the first statement tpo be made by Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, considered by many the next "interim leader", a few hours after the taking of Kabul. In a video message he thanked the militiamen for the military campaign that led in a few days to the ouster of President Ashraf Ghani. From the palace, he promised "magnanimity" but, at the same time, recalled the eight years of captivity casting more than a shadow on the future of the nation and the region.
The Taliban sing victory and proclaim the "liberation" of Afghanistan at the hands of the Mujaheddin less than a month after the twentieth anniversary of the Twin Towers, at the origin of the US military campaign. A flag of the jihadist movement flies over the presidential palace while a spokesman announces that "the situation is calm" and the objective is to form "an open and inclusive Islamic government". In the early hours of the day the streets of the capital appear deserted and dozens of stores and cafes remain closed; a decision taken by the owners to "defend" goods and merchandise, waiting for developments in the coming days.
Meanwhile, the hasty flight of Western diplomats and foreign workers continues, especially among the representations of the United States and the European Union. The position of China and Russia is different: at least for the moment, they are keeping their embassies open and do not intend to withdraw their staff. The U.S. armed forces have taken control of the airport and repelled the onslaught of thousands of desperate people trying to flee the country. Several airlines changed routes to avoid overflying Afghan airspace. Several international airlines suspended connections to Kabul.
The now former president Ghani, who has taken refuge in Tajikistan (or Uzbekistan according to other sources), in a message posted to social media has recognized the victory of the Taliban who are now "responsible for the honor, property and protection of their compatriots". He justified the departure by stressing that if he had stayed, "countless patriots would have been martyred and the city of Kabul would have been destroyed."
Amid scenes of chaos at the airport and the apparent calm in the streets of the capital, Afghanistan is wondering about its immediate future, which seems to be more and more linked to the decisions taken by the Taliban leader Abdul Ghani Baradar, who has the task of leading the transition towards the "emirate".
According to some intelligence sources, he was born in 1968 in the village of Weetmak, in the province of Uruzgan and for many he was one of the most influential figures after Mullah Muhammad Omar. Since a very young age he has distinguished himself in the various wars that have bloodied the Asian nation, starting from the conflict with the Soviets in the '80s and continuing until 1994, with the foundation of the Taliban movement.
After 2001 he lives for some years incognito, while rumors (false) of his death from tuberculosis follow one another; in 2009, in an interview with Newsweek, he releases a prophetic declaration: "Afghans never tire of fighting until they have liberated their country. We will continue the jihad, until the expulsion of the enemy from our land". In 2010, he was arrested by security forces in Karachi, Pakistan, in an operation considered at the time to be crucial in eradicating the Taliban insurgency. However, in October 2018 at the request of the United States, he was released to attend peace talks on Afghanistan.