Afghanistan may be governed by a governing council as the Taliban has taken over, while the supreme leader of the Islamist terrorist movement, Haibatullah Akhundzada, is likely to retain overall leadership, a senior member of the group told Reuters.
The Taliban would also contact former Afghan armed forces pilots and soldiers to join their ranks, Waheedullah Hashimi, who has access to the group’s decision-making, added in an interview.
How successful that recruitment is remains to be seen. Thousands of soldiers have been killed by Taliban terrorists over the past 20 years, and recently the group targeted US-trained Afghan pilots for their critical role.
The power structure that Hashimi outlined would resemble how Afghanistan was governed when the Taliban were last in power from 1996 to 2001. an advice.
Achundzada would likely play a role over the head of the council, who would be akin to the country’s president, Hashimi added.
“Perhaps his deputy (Akhundzada) will play the role of ‘president’,” Hashimi said in English.
The Supreme Leader of the Taliban has three deputies: Mawlavi Yaqoob, son of Mullah Omar, Sirajuddin Haqqani, leader of the powerful Haqqani terrorist network, and Abdul Ghani Baradar, head of the Taliban’s political bureau in Doha and one of the founding members of the group.
Many issues about how the Taliban would run Afghanistan have yet to be finalized, Hashimi explained, but Afghanistan would not be a democracy.
“There will be no democratic system at all because it has no basis in our country,” he said. “We will not discuss what kind of political system to apply in Afghanistan, because that is clear. It is Sharia law and that is it.”
Hashimi said he would attend a meeting of Taliban leaders to discuss governance issues later this week.
Recruiting soldiers and pilots to fight for the deposed Afghan government, Hashimi said the Taliban were planning to create a new national force, with both its own members and government soldiers willing to join.
“Most of them have had training in Turkey and Germany and England. So we will talk to them to get back to their positions,” he said.
“Of course we will make some changes, to make some reforms in the military, but we still need them and will call on them to join us.”
Hashimi said the Taliban mainly needed pilots because they didn’t have them, having seized helicopters and other planes in several Afghan airports during their lightning strike of the country after foreign forces withdrew.
“We are in contact with a lot of pilots,” he said. “And we’ve asked them to join their brothers and their government. We’ve called many of them and are looking for (other) numbers to call them and invite them to work.”
He said the Taliban expected neighboring countries to return planes that landed on their territory — a clear reference to the 22 military planes, 24 helicopters and hundreds of Afghan soldiers who had fled to Uzbekistan.