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Ashraf Ghani’s brother swears allegiance to Taliban

Hashmat Ghani, who is also head of the Grand Council of Kuchi (nomads) in Afghanistan, did not have any official position during the eight-year tenure of Ashraf Ghani.

IANS | Kabul |

Former Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s brother Hashmat Ghani Ahmadzai has sworn allegiance to the Taliban. Hashmat Ghani, who is also head of the Grand Council of Kuchi (nomads) in Afghanistan, did not have any official position during the eight-year tenure of Ashraf Ghani.

In a video clip aired from the ceremony in Kabul, it is seen that Hashmat Ghani is pledging allegiance to Khalil-ur-Rahman, a key member of the Taliban, Afghan media reported.

Ghani reportedly pledged his allegiance to the Taliban in the presence of Khalil al-Rahman Haqqani who is the leader of the Taliban-backed Haqqani Network.

Earlier, Afghan government provincial governor and national police commanders had also promised to be cooperating with the Taliban as they grabbed control over Afghanistan.

The allegiance comes as the Taliban leadership is yet to fill the political vacuum but reiterates that speedy negotiations are ongoing in this regard.

In a tweet earlier, Hashmat Ghani had said: “While we have to accept Taliban, it should not be used as the only reason to abandon people of Afghanistan by the West.”

“Half of our population are dependent on daily wages. Freezing their money at the time of need could spell disaster, not just in Afghanistan but also for the region,” the former president’s brother added.

Hashmat Ghani had said he was in “nonstop meetings” with Taliban leadership in order to ensure physical and mental security for Afghans as thousands gathered at  Kabul airport in the past week trying to flee the Taliban rule.

The former president’s brother had added earlier that, “Taliban are well capable of bringing security”, however, he added that running a functional government requires the collaboration of “younger educated Afghans”.

“The so-called expired politicians should be sidelined completely so failed experience of coalition government is not repeated,” he added.

Former president Ashraf Ghani had fled to UAE after the Taliban entered Kabul last Sunday saying he had left in order to spare the country more bloodshed.

However, Ghani said he was “in talks” to return home even as US deputy secretary of state Wendy Sherman said, “he is no longer a figure in Afghanistan”.

“I was expelled from Afghanistan in such a way that I didn’t even get the chance to take my slippers off my feet and pull on my boots,” Ghani said as he explained that he arrived in the UAE empty-handed.