Afghanistan’s TOLO News reported on Monday that the Taliban is involved in discussions on a future government in Doha, Qatar, where the group maintains a political office.
A Taliban official said they were in contact with the “international community and political parties within Afghanistan” over the issue of a new government.
Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, who TOLO described as the Taliban’s political deputy leader, said the transition would be a test for the Taliban. “At this time we face a test because now we are responsible for the security of the people,” he said.
Baradar is a contender to be the new president of Afghanistan. Another possibility is Ali Ahmad Jalali, who served as Afghanistan’s interior minister in the US-backed government from 2003 to 2005.
After former president Ashraf Ghani fled the country, a group of Afghan leaders created a council to meet with the Taliban and help with the transition of power. Members of the council include former president Hamid Karzai, High Council for National Reconciliation leader Abdullah Abdullah, and Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, the leader of the Islamic political party Hizb-e-Islami.
According to a report from Al Jazeera, Hekmatyar said the council is heading to Doha to negotiate with the Taliban.