Former Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said on Wednesday that he supports talks between the Taliban and former top government officials and that he is “in talks to return” after taking refuge in the United Arab Emirates.
“I support the government initiative of ongoing negotiations with Abdullah Abdullah and former President Hamid Karzai. I want the success of this process,” he said in a video message – his first appearance since he fled the country to the UAE on Sunday.
Ghani flew off as the terrorists approached the capital, Kabul, sealing the Taliban’s swift victory and a return to rule two decades after they were ousted by a US-led invasion. On Wednesday, the United Arab Emirates said it received Ghani and his family “on humanitarian grounds”, in the first confirmation of his whereabouts.
The Taliban have promised a pledge of reconciliation, no revenge against opponents and no respect for women’s rights — but there are deep concerns worldwide about the ruthless human rights situation of the Taliban and tens of thousands of Afghans are still trying to flee.
“Everyone on the other side gets pardons from A to Z,” Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told foreign and local reporters during the movement’s first press conference. “We will not seek revenge.”
As the leadership tried to project a new image, video footage taken by Pajhwok Afghan News, a local news agency, showed protesters in the city carrying the Afghan flag fleeing to the sound of gunshots in the background.