ISLAMABAD: Afghan government collapsed on Sunday following President Ashraf Ghani fled Afghanistan, paving the way for the Taliban to take over Kabul amid chaos in the war-torn neighbouring country.
In a video statement, shared over his official social media accounts, the head of the Afghan National Reconciliation Council Abdullah Abdullah confirmed that President Ghani had left the country. "He [Ghani] left Afghanistan in a hard time, God hold him accountable," Abdullah said in a video statement in Dari language.
He also urged the Afghan security forces to do their part to maintain peace in the country, besides appealing the Taliban to not harm anyone or cause disharmony in Kabul. "Ghani had left the country in troubling times, for which he will be remembered in history," he added.
Afghan media report while quoting a senior Afghan Interior Ministry official claimed that Ghani has left Kabul for Tajikistan.
While one Afghan delegation arrived in Islamabad on Sunday, Afghan media reports claim that Abdullah Abdullah will be heading to Qatar to hold talks with Taliban leadership about the peaceful transition of power.
As soon as the reports of President Ghani's escape from the country came, Taliban instructed its fighters to enter Kabul and take control of its security. In a statement, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said that the Taliban fighters have been ordered to enter Kabul "to prevent looting after local police deserted their posts".
"The Islamic Emirate issued a statement in the morning [of Sunday] stating that our forces are out of Kabul and we do not want to enter Kabul by force. But now there are reports that constituencies in Kabul have been evacuated, police have given up to provide security, ministries have been left evacuated, and Kabul administration security personnel have fled," the Taliban statement reads.
"So, God forbid, the thieves and robbers in Kabul do not create mess, the abusers do not harm the people, the Islamic Emirate ordered its forces to enter the areas of Kabul from which the enemy fled and take control of the security of the areas that are at risk," it added.
The Taliban statement also called upon the citizens of Kabul not feel any fear from their fighters. Our forces will enter Kabul city very easily, they will not harm anyone," the Taliban spokesman said, assuring the government civil and military officials that they would also not be harmed. He further said that no Taliban fighter would be allowed to enter anybody's home, or to harass anyone.
Meanwhile hours of Ghani's escape from the country, former Afghan president Hamid Karzai announced the formation of "Afghanistan Coordination Council" for a peaceful transfer of power.
"Following the exit of Ashraf Ghani and responsible officials from Afghanistan, Coordination Council consisting of Abdullah Abdullah, Head of Afghanistan High Council for National Reconciliation, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, Leader of Islamic Party of Afghanistan and myself [Hamid Karzai] were formed in order to prevent chaos and reduce suffering of Afghan people and better manage the affairs related to the peaceful transfer of power," Karzai stated in a video statement, shared from his official twitter account.
He said that the council also calls on government security forces and Taliban to resolutely curb any chaotic situation and exercise restraint.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021