Afghan former president Hamid Karzai meets senior Taliban faction leader
- Former Afghan president Hamid Karzai met Anas Haqqani, a senior Taliban faction leader
- The US branded the Haqqani network a terrorist group in 2012
- The Taliban have pledged to form an “inclusive, Islamic government”
Former Afghanistan president Hamid Karzai, on Wednesday, met with a senior leader of a powerful Taliban faction as part of preliminary meetings that would facilitate eventual negotiations with Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the top Taliban political leader.
Anas Haqqani, a senior leader, was once jailed and his group has been listed by the US as a terrorist network.
The meeting was also attended by Abdullah Abdullah, a senior official in the ousted government.
The US branded the Haqqani network a terrorist group in 2012, and its involvement in a future government could trigger international sanctions.
The Taliban have pledged to form an “inclusive, Islamic government,” although skeptics point to its past record of intolerance for those not adhering to its extreme interpretations of Islam.
Elsewhere in Afghanistan, the Taliban broke up a protest in the eastern region of the county. The violent break up saw at least one person getting killed as The Taliban quashed a rare public show of dissent.
This incident happened in the eastern city of Jalalabad where people had gathered to raise the national flag a day before Afghanistan's Independence Day. They lowered the Taliban flag that the militants had raised in the areas they captured.
According to video footage, the Taliban can be seen firing into the air and using batons to disperse the crowd.
A local health official, on the condition of anonymity, said at least one person was killed and six wounded.
With the Taliban taking control of Kabul, thousands of Afghans, fearing for their lives, tried to flee the country in recent days. Meanwhile, the US, the UK, Australia and India have struggled to manage a chaotic withdrawal from the country.
Hundreds of people were outside the airport early Wednesday. The Taliban demanded to see documents before allowing the rare passenger inside.
In Kabul, groups of Taliban fighters carrying long guns patrolled a well-to-do neighborhood that is home to many embassies as well as mansions of the Afghan elite.
The Taliban, in a press conference, promised to maintain security in the country.