Taliban return to power 20 years after 9/11, to declare Islamic Emirate, Security Council meets Monday

Kabul : The Taliban have won the war in Afghanistan, President Ashraf Ghani said on Sunday, fleeing the country to Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan, and marking the Islamist militant group’s return to power 20 years after its ouster by US-led forces following the September 11 terror attacks.

In a video on Monday, Mullah Baradar Akhund, Taliban deputy, said it was now time to provide for the people and improve their lives.

“We congratulate the great victory to the whole Afghan nation especially to the people of Kabul and to our Mujahideens. The way we have come through was unexpected as we have reached the position which was never expected. But, with the help of Allah, that he has given us, the victory and there is nothing like this in the history of the world, so we should thank Allah. We should have no arrogance.

Now is the time to trial, we will give services to our nation, we give serenity to the whole nation, that we will go as far as possible for the betterment of their lives,” Mullah Baradar said.

According to the Taliban, the war in Afghanistan was over after their forces took control of the presidential palace in Kabul.

Reports also quoted a Taliban official as saying that the group will soon declare the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan — the name of the country under the previous Taliban government.

Ghani in a statement posted on Facebook, said the Taliban have won with the sword and the gun, and they are now responsible for protecting the citizens and ending the bloodshed.

Ghani arrived in the Uzbek capital with his wife, the Al Jazeera television reported, citing the president’s personal bodyguard.

“Ghani, his wife and the head of his national security office left the country and arrived to Tashkent,” the channel quoted the president’s bodyguard as saying.

The Taliban previously came to power in 1996, but after they refused to hand over al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden — the mastermind behind the September 11 terror attacks — US-led forces toppled the regime through a military invasion in 2001.

It took the Taliban just over a week to seize control of the country after a lightning sweep that ended in Kabul on Sunday.

In response to the Taliban’s lightning sweep, the UN Security Council will convene an emergency meeting to discuss the situation in Afghanistan on Monday.

Also, in a joint statement, more than 60 countries led by the US said that given the deteriorating security situation, they are working to secure and called on all parties to respect and facilitate the safe and orderly departure of foreign nationals and Afghans who wish to leave the country.