Ghani refused transfer of power to interim govt: Hekmatyar

Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, Leader of Hezb-e-Islami of Afghanistan and former prime minister, on Sunday said that the Afghan government refused to give up the war with the Taliban, ToloNews reported.

Hekmatyar said that the government has refused the transfer of power to an interim government acceptable to all, adding that it has failed to secure Kabul.

He said that the Taliban had decided not to enter Kabul, but warned that “now some may take advantage of the situation.”

Hekmatyar said that the people can ensure their security on their own.

Read more: President Ghani leaves Afghanistan as Taliban enter Kabul: sources

The development comes as President Ashraf Ghani left Afghanistan, capping the militant group’s lightning push for power.

A senior Afghan Interior Ministry official said Ghani had left for Tajikistan. Asked for comment, the president’s office it “cannot say anything about Ashraf Ghani’s movement for security reasons”.

A representative of the Taliban said the group was checking on Ghani’s whereabouts.

Acting defence minister Bismillah Mohammadi, earlier in the day, said that the president had handed the authority of solving the crisis in the country to political leaders. Mohammadi, according to ToloNews said that a delegation will travel to Doha on Monday for talks on the country’s situation.

Also read: Afghan Taliban enter Kabul two decades after US-led ouster

Meanwhile, sources close to the Taliban said that it has been agreed that Ghani will resign after a political agreement and hand the power to a transitional government.

Soon after an Afghanistan interior ministry official confirmed reports of Taliban entering Kabul from all sides earlier in the day, a spokesperson for the Taliban stated that the fighters have been ordered to remain at the city’s gates, and not enter it.

President Ghani’s government was left completely isolated on Sunday after the Taliban claimed the anti-Taliban northern stronghold of Mazar-i-Sharif and the eastern city of Jalalabad.

Like with most of the other captured cities, the seizure of power came after government forces surrendered or retreated.

It left the Taliban holding all the cards in any negotiated surrender of the capital.

On Saturday, Ghani sought to project authority with a national address in which he spoke of “re-mobilising” the military while seeking a “political solution” to the crisis.

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