Taliban faction chief Anas Haqqani meets Hamid Karzai
Kabul, Aug 18: Anas Haqqani, a member of the Taliban negotiating team met former Afghan President Hamid Karzai, Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, Fazal Hadi Muslimyar and others in Kabul.
The Haqqani Network is an important faction of the Taliban. The network, based on the border with Pakistan, was accused over recent years of some of the most deadly terrorist attacks in Afghanistan.
The Taliban have promised to maintain security, but many Afghans are as afraid of them as they are of potential chaos.
The Taliban have pledged to form an "inclusive, Islamic government" and have been holding talks with former President Hamid Karzai and Abdullah Abdullah, a senior official in the ousted government. Mohammad Yusof Saha, a spokesman for Karzai, said preliminary meetings with Taliban officials would facilitate eventual negotiations with Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the top Taliban political leader.
Photos circulating online Wednesday showed Karzai and Abdullah meeting with Anas Haqqani, a senior leader in a powerful Taliban faction. The U.S. branded the Haqqani network a terrorist group in 2012, and its involvement in a future government could trigger international sanctions.
Amid the uncertainty, thousands of Afghans have tried to flee the country in recent days, and the U.S. and its allies have struggled to manage a chaotic withdrawal from the country. The Taliban took over the civilian side of the Kabul international airport on Tuesday and have used force to try to control the crowds.