Kabul: Days after taking over Afghanistan, the Taliban on Wednesday ordered the relwase of political prisoners across the country. Notably, the political prisoners will be released on Thursday and the Taliban will facilitate their transfer over to their families. On the other hand, Afghanistan may be governed by a ruling council for now while the Islamist militant movement’s supreme leader, Haibatullah Akhundzada, would likely remain in overall charge. Here are the top 10 developments of the day from the war-torn country.Also Read - Recent Developments in Afghanistan Prove Radicalisation Biggest challenge to Peace: PM Modi at SCO Summit | Key Points
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- As per a report by news agency Reuters, Afghanistan may be governed by a ruling council for now, while the Islamist militant movement’s supreme leader, Haibatullah Akhundzada, would likely remain in overall charge. The report also suggested that the Taliban would also reach out to former pilots and soldiers from the Afghan armed forces to join its ranks, Waheedullah Hashimi, who has access to the group’s decision-making.
- Earlier in the day, Taliban Chief Mullah Hibatullah Akhundzada issued a general amnesty ordering the release of political prisoners from all prisons in Afghanistan. The Taliban said that the governors will release all political prisoners and facilitate their transfer over to their families from Thursday.
- On Wednesday, the Taliban violently broke up a protest in eastern Afghanistan, killing at least one person as they quashed a rare public show of dissent. The militant group meanwhile met with former officials from the toppled Western-backed government.
- Thousands were seen racing to the airport and borders to flee the country while many others are hiding inside their homes, fearful after prisons and armories were emptied during the insurgents’ blitz across the country.
- Dozens of people gathered in the eastern city of Jalalabad to raise the national flag a day before Afghanistan’s Independence Day, which commemorates the end of British rule in 1919. They lowered the Taliban flag a white banner with an Islamic inscription that the militants have raised in the areas they captured.
- Video footage later showed the Taliban firing into the air and attacking people with batons to disperse the crowd.
- In the meantime, former Afghan president Hamid Karzai along with Abdullah met Anas Haqqani, a senior leader in a powerful Taliban faction. The U.S. branded the Haqqani network a terrorist group in 2012, and its involvement in a future government could trigger international sanctions.
- In a late-evening development, the UAE’s Foreign Ministry acknowledged in a one-sentence statement that Ashraf Ghani and his family were in the country for humanitarian considerations. The president fled the Taliban advance on Sunday and disappeared amid widespread anger from Afghans over the collapse of the country’s security forces.
- In Kabul, groups of Taliban fighters carrying long guns patrolled a well-to-do neighbourhood that is home to many embassies as well as mansions of the Afghan elite. The Taliban have pledged to form an inclusive, Islamic government, although skeptics point to its past record of intolerance for those not adhering to its extreme interpretations of Islam.
- The Taliban also blew up a statue depicting Abdul Ali Mazari, a militia leader killed by the Taliban in 1996, when the Islamic militants seized power from rival warlords. Mazari was a champion of Afghanistan’s ethnic Hazara minority, Shiites who were persecuted under the Sunni Taliban’s earlier rule.