I invited Taliban to Kabul, says former Afghan president Hamid Karzai

WION Web Team
New DelhiUpdated: Dec 15, 2021, 11:25 PM IST

File photo of Former president of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai. Photograph:(ANI)

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Statement from Hamid Karzai has changed the popular narrative that Taliban wrested away power from Afghan government

Former Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai has said, in a surprising turn of events, that Taliban were invited to Kabul before they took over the capital city. Karzai said that he had invited the Taliban. The group had agreed to wait outside Kabul in order to discuss power-sharing agreement.

US-backed government in Afghanistan fell swiftly after foreign troops left the country. The power was seized by the Taliban on August 15 this year.

"It was a request to come in and protect the population, so that the country, the city doesn't fall into chaos. and the unwanted elements who would probably loot the country, loot shops...," he said in an interview with the Associated Press.

The day the Taliban came into power they told Karzai that government officials should stay in their place and they would not invade. "I and others spoke to various officials and assurances were given to us that, yes, that was the case, that the Americans and the government forces were holding firm to the places [and] that Kabul would not fall," Karzai said.

As negotiations were happening, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and other government officials left the country, in a move that hindered a peaceful transition agreement, said Karzai. He was quoted by Washington-based publication The Hill

The former Afghanistan President, who has been at the helm of humanitarian affairs in Afghanistan, has been holding talks with UN officials and other stakeholders in the country.

Karzai said that the Taliban government must now do all that is necessary within the country to safeguard the interests of all Afghans.
The ongoing humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan is threatening basic rights, with women, girls, and civil society among those most affected.

On Tuesday, a senior UN rights official said that respect for fundamental rights and freedoms by authorities in Afghanistan is critical to ensuring stability in the country.

"How the de facto authorities - indeed, and the international community - address the drastic economic and humanitarian crises in the country will determine Afghans' enjoyment of human rights, now and into the future," said Nada Al-Nashif, United Nations Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, during a press briefing. 

(With inputs from agencies)