Reuters reported that now that the Taliban have gained control of Afghanistan, the country may be administered by a ruling council, with the movement’s top leader, Haibatullah Akhundzada, likely remaining in ultimate command, according to a senior member of the movement.
Meanwhile, Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid announced the establishment of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan via Twitter on Thursday.
His tweet in Pashto on Thursday said, “[This is] the declaration of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan on the occasion of the 102nd anniversary of the country’s (Afghanistan) independence from British domination.”
In an interview, Waheedullah Hashimi (C), a Taliban member who has access to the group’s decision-making, stated that the Taliban would also seek out to former pilots and soldiers from the Afghan military forces to recruit them to their ranks.
It remains to be seen whether or not this recruitment is successful. The Taliban has killed thousands of soldiers over the last two decades, and the group has recently targeted Afghan pilots who have received US training because of their critical role in the war on terror.
The political system that Hashimi has detailed would be eerily similar to the way Afghanistan was administered during the Taliban’s previous reign of power, which lasted from 1996 to 2001. Mullah Omar, the country’s supreme leader, remained in the background and delegated responsibility for administering the country to a council.
Hashimi went on to say that Akhundzada would most likely have a position above the chairman of the council, who would be equivalent to the country’s president.
According to Hashimi, who spoke in English, “maybe his (Akhundzada’s) deputy will take on the position of ‘president.'”
Afghanistan’s supreme leader has three deputy leaders: Mullah Yaqoob, the son of Mullah Omar, Sirajuddin Haqqani (the leader of the strong Haqqani network), and Abdul Ghani Baradar (the head of the Taliban’s political office in Doha and one of the group’s founding members).
Many concerns about the Taliban’s administration of Afghanistan have still to be resolved, according to Hashimi, but Afghanistan will not be a democratic country under Taliban rule.
“There will be no democratic system at all because it does not have a foundation in our country,” he stated emphatically. “We will not debate whether form of political system should be implemented in Afghanistan since the answer is obvious. It is simply Sharia law, and that is all there is to it.”
Hashimi stated that he would be attending a meeting of the Taliban’s leadership later this week to discuss issues of governance and governance structures.
Regarding the Taliban’s plans to recruit troops and pilots who fought for the deposed Afghan government, Hashimi stated that the Taliban intended to establish a new national force that would include both Taliban militants and government soldiers who were ready to join.
“Of course, we’ll have some adjustments, and we’ll have some reforms in the army, but we’ll still need them, and we’ll call on them to come and fight with us.”
Hashimi claimed that the Taliban were in desperate need of pilots because they lacked any, despite the fact that they had stolen helicopters and other aircraft from several Afghan airfields during their quick takeover of the country following the withdrawal of Western soldiers.
“We have communication with a large number of pilots,” he explained. “And we’ve invited them to come and join us, to join their brothers, to join the administration of their country. We have called a number of them and are looking for [others’] phone numbers so that we can call them and invite them to their positions.”
“The Taliban demand neighbouring nations to repatriate aircraft that have landed in their territory,” he stated, making an apparent allusion to the 22 military planes, 24 helicopters, and hundreds of Afghan soldiers who escaped to Uzbekistan over the weekend.