Afghanistan Crisis LIVE Updates: Taliban say will be reasonable towards India's concerns, says foreign secy

11:22 (IST) Afghanistan Crisis Latest Update Taliban indicated they'd be reasonable in addressing Indian concerns: Foreign Secretary ...

11:22 (IST)

Afghanistan Crisis Latest Update

Taliban indicated they'd be reasonable in addressing Indian concerns: Foreign Secretary Shringla

 
India and the United States are closely watching Pakistan's actions in Afghanistan, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said on Friday. In the limited engagement that India has had with the Taliban, the new Afghan rulers have indicated that they would be reasonable in addressing New Delhi's concerns, the foreign secretary added.
 
"Our engagement with them (the Taliban) has been limited. It's not that we have (had) a robust conversation. But for whatever conversation we've had so far, they've been sort of. At least, the Taliban seem to indicate that they will be reasonable in the way they handle this," Shringla said.
He was responding to a question about the recent meeting that India's Ambassador in Qatar had with a senior Taliban leader in Doha.
 
Obviously, like us, they're also watching carefully and we have to watch Pakistan's actions with a fine-tooth comb, he told a group of Indian reporters

11:11 (IST)

Afghanistan Crisis Latest Update

Taliban sources say last Afghan holdout region falls; resistance denies

Three Taliban sources said the Islamist militia had on Friday seized the Panjshir valley north of Kabul, the last province of Afghanistan holding out against it, although a resistance leader denied it had fallen. "By the grace of Allah Almighty, we are in control of entire Afghanistan. The troublemakers have been defeated and Panjshir is now under our command," said one Taliban commander. Deafening volleys of celebratory gunfire resounded all over Kabul and Facebook accounts were full of mentions of the fall of Panjshir.

11:04 (IST)

Afghanistan Crisis Latest Update

Who all will be part of Taliban's 'inclusive' govt?

Hamid Karzai and Abdullah Abdullah are unlikely to get space in the Shura but they will remain in some advisory role, the sources said. Women too, are unlikely to be made an active part of the governance council

Other groups like the deadly Haqqani network will get 50% stake in this government, and warlord turned politician Gulbuddin Hekmatyar will also be part of this governing body, but in the second or third layer, the sources said.

10:27 (IST)

Afghanistan Crisis Latest Update

Taliban co-founder Mullah Baradar likely to head new govt, say reports

Taliban co-founder Mullah Baradar will lead a new Afghan government set to be announced shortly, sources in the Islamist group told Reuters on Friday, as its fighters battled forces loyal to the vanquished republic in the Panjshir Valley north of Kabul.

Baradar, who heads the Taliban’s political office, will be joined by Mullah Mohammad Yaqoob, the son of late Taliban co-founder Mullah Omar, and Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai, in senior positions in the government, three sources said.

Haibatullah Akhunzada, the Taliban’s supreme religious leader, will focus on religious matters and governance within the framework of Islam, another Taliban source said.

10:24 (IST)

Afghanistan Crisis Latest Update

Taliban likely to announce interim govt today

The Taliban is likely to announce an interim government today. The announcement was initially likely on Friday after the evening prayers, but the Islamist group -- with a brutal past of an extremist regime -- delayed announcing its decision amid renewed protests, a fierce fight from anti-Taliban militia in Panjshir and intense international scrutiny. 

Afghanistan Crisis Latest Updates:  In the limited engagement that India has had with the Taliban, the new Afghan rulers have indicated that they would be reasonable in addressing New Delhi's concerns, the foreign secretary

The Taliban are due to form a government within days despite fighting in Afghanistan's Panjshir Valley where forces battling the hardline Islamists say they are enduring "heavy" assaults.

The Islamists face the enormous challenge of shifting gears from insurgent group to governing power, days after the United States fully withdrew its troops and ended two decades of war.

But they are still battling to extinguish the last flame of resistance in the Panjshir Valley, which held out for a decade against the Soviet Union's occupation and also the Taliban's first rule from 1996-2001.

Late Friday, celebratory gunfire rang out across Kabul as rumours spread the valley had fallen, but the Taliban made no official claim and a resident told AFP by phone the reports were false.

Fighters from the National Resistance Front -- made up of anti-Taliban militia and former Afghan security forces -- are understood to have significant weapon stockpiles in the valley, which lies around 80 kilometres (50 miles) north of Kabul.

Earlier Friday, Ali Maisam Nazary, a spokesman for the Panjshir resistance, who is understood to be outside the valley but in close contact with key leader Ahmad Massoud, said the fighting was "heavy" and that Massoud was "busy defending the valley".

Pro-Taliban Twitter accounts aired video clips purporting to show the new regime's fighters had captured tanks and other heavy military equipment inside the valley.

Taliban and resistance tweets suggested the key district of Paryan had been taken and lost again, but that could also not be independently verified.

With inputs from agencies

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India World News: Afghanistan Crisis LIVE Updates: Taliban say will be reasonable towards India's concerns, says foreign secy
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