Taliban expected to form gov’t as fighting in Panjshir continues

Taliban expected to form gov’t as fighting in Panjshir continues

The shape the Taliban government will take, and who will lead, could be announced as some humanitarian flights resume.


The Taliban are expected to form a government as early as Friday as it faces domestic and international pressure to rule Afghanistan with greater tolerance, especially on women’s rights.

The announcement of a new administration could be made after Friday afternoon prayers, two Taliban sources told the AFP news agency, as the group shift gears to governing the country while also trying to deflect an armed challenge from rebels in the Panjshir Valley region.

While the West has adopted a wait-and-see approach to the Taliban, there were some signs of engagement with the new leaders gathering pace.

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The United Nations said it had restarted humanitarian flights to parts of the country, linking the Pakistani capital Islamabad with Mazar-i-Sharif in northern Afghanistan and Kandahar in the south.

Tens of thousands of Afghans have been internally displaced due to the recent violence. As many as half a million others are also estimated to become refugees in neighbouring countries such as Pakistan and Iran.

The country’s main airport in Kabul remains closed but is expected to reopen in days with the help of technical experts from Qatar.