The arrival in the capital of the political chief accelerates contacts between Taliban and Afghan leaders, which must define how inclusive the cabinet will go
In a country that faces a new humanitarian crisis, Islamists are working to present as soon as possible what they describe as an “inclusive government” and have launched consultations with former executive officials in 20 of the 34 provinces. Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar Akhund, co-founder of the Taliban, arrived in the Afghan capital from Kandahar on Friday to lead this dialogue process and lay the foundations of the new Administration. His agenda includes interviews with military leaders and religious leaders. From what little has transpired, the only certainty is that the foundations of the new mandate will be those of sharia or Islamic law.
Baradar is in Kabul not only as the prominent political leader of the movement he helped create thirty years ago. There is a growing conviction that he will be the next administrator of Afghanistan, so his movements are carefully scrutinized, although they are carried out with total secrecy. He has hardly been seen since his arrival. He has been one of the few leaders who have attended the march in very bad manners of Afghanistan by two great powers, he has directed the Taliban political office of Qatar and has led the negotiations in Doha in search of a peace agreement with the United States. This makes him the main candidate for the head of the Government, although some sources affirm that this point, as well as the profile of the new Executive, will not be released until the US forces definitively leave Afghanistan, predictably on the 31st.
Whether it is an inclusive cabinet or not raises serious doubts. Most analysts do not believe that the cabinet will be as inclusive as Western governments and a good number of former local officials want. And they also do not rule out that the possible cessions of the Taliban are simple cosmetic arrangements in order to achieve the acquiescence of the international community. The profile of the Executive will be key to obtain a key recognition in the difficult mission of filling the national coffers.
Just on time
Several analysts agree that the process that Baradar and his delegation face is complicated and is short on time. On the one hand, the United States is still present in the country, even if only at the capital’s airport, and on the other, the regime must reestablish the inflow of money as soon as possible. Bank branches are either closed or their operation is very scarce, the coffers are being emptied after a week of fighting and international organizations have closed the tap of funds and aid. Even the Westren Union no longer sends transfers to the Central Asian country. That all this is transferred to citizens and businesses is a matter of days, until the circulation of cash ends, and no one knows to what extent it will affect the popular mood.
Former President Hamid Karzai and the country’s former Deputy Prime Minister, Abdullah Abdullah, are part of the Coordination Council and this Sunday they held a new meeting with the Islamists. According to a statement from Abdullah’s office, the goal is to reach an “inclusive political agreement.” Islamists try every day to win the loyalty of former senior officials and the latest to join the ranks of the Emirate was Hashmat Ghani, brother of the former president who fled to the United Arab Emirates (UAE).