Afghanistan dispatches: ‘Former Afghan government officials have come together to establish a High Council of National Resistance’
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Afghanistan dispatches: ‘Former Afghan government officials have come together to establish a High Council of National Resistance’

JURIST EXCLUSIVE – Law students and lawyers in Afghanistan are filing reports with JURIST on the situation there after the fall of Kabul to the Taliban. Here, a lawyer in Kabul offers his personal observations and perspective on a new Afghan resistance movement that has been launched to counter the Taliban. For privacy and security reasons we are withholding our correspondent’s name and institutional affiliation. The text has been only lightly edited to respect the author’s voice.

Former Afghan government officials have come together to establish a High Council of National Resistance, which say it has two policy aims:  1) peace, and 2) war against the Taliban. After the Taliban came to power and promised that they would establish an inclusive government many former officials thought that the Taliban will include them in the new administration. However, this was proved wrong and the Taliban government did not include any of the former government officials in their administration.

The above has led to many debates in and outside of the country and it seemed that the former government officials are unhappy about it. The international community has also pushed the Taliban to establish a truly inclusive government but the Taliban has emphasized that an “inclusive government” to them does not mean that they should include the former government officials. Moreover, the Taliban have stated – many times – they will not include any of them because they say they are corrupt and are not capable of providing services to the public.

Most of the officials who established the above Council are former warlords especially people who fought Russians in 1970s and later on stood against the Taliban in 1990s.

The above Council also made a statement yesterday in which they warned the Taliban saying that if they do not enter into direct negotiations with them, they will then take military measures. The Taliban reacted to this statement saying that “these corrupt people were once examined by the people of Afghanistan and now it is the time for them to review their actions”. Moreover, the Taliban have stated that these officials should return to the country and continue their live as ordinary people. More importantly, the Taliban have stated that the war is now over in Afghanistan and those who fight against them will be beaten.

Currently, it seems that Abdurab Rasul Sayaf, Mohammad Muhaqeq, Ata Mohammad Noor, and Rashid Dostom has officially confirmed their participation into the Council. It is also not clear where everyone in this Council lives at the moment. However, according to the Council they prefer a political approach over military action at the moment.

According to the statement made by the Council, the fall of Afghanistan under the Taliban control was a result of insufficient security agencies, corruption in the government administration by some, and it was all planned.

The Council has also called on the UN and other countries not to recognize the Taliban government in which no other tribes and minority groups see themselves.

As stated above, the Taliban reacted by saying that they will not tolerate any of the former official’s activity against the Taliban government.

Members of the public have also commented on the above statements by the Council through social media and according to the many the former officials should be ashamed of how they have left the country and let the Taliban took over. Moreover, based on the comments I’ve reviewed, many believe that these officials from the ex-government could have stood against the Taliban and could have prevented the current situation but they preferred not to.

In my opinion, the statement by the Council has two specific messages for the Taliban which are 1) the Taliban either accept to enter into negotiations with them, and 2) or enter into another war.

I believe that the political and negotiation approach will not work and be accepted, at least now that the Taliban control the country. They will not easily enter into negotiations because first of all the Council members are not in the country and every one of them lives in different countries and they will not come to Afghanistan at least until without any guarantee. However, the international community can play a critical role by putting pressure on the Taliban to sit and talk with these people. This is also difficult because according to my opinion the US and other big countries lost trust in these people.

The challenge will start if the Council take any steps to fight with the Taliban. In my opinion they still have strong ties in many places in the country which can be a headache to the Taliban. However, I cannot understand how they will fund a the war if they choose to fight against the Taliban. This is also the second resistance which is officially standing against the Taliban.