Former Afghan President Hamid Karzai Allowed To Travel Outside Country For First Time by Taliban

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What happened? The Taliban granted former Afghan President Hamid Karzai permission to leave the country and pictures published on social media showed him on an airplane. Karzai had been under virtual house arrest since the Taliban came to power in August 2021.

Go deeper:

  • Sources said that his only purpose may be to start the preparations for the start of Intra-Afghan talks in Doha and to meet with American officials and foreign Afghan politicians.
  • Since the end of October and the beginning of November, there are reports narrating that telephone calls are being made between President Hamid Karzai, and the US special representative for Afghanistan, Thomas West.
  • According to the information of this report, former President Hamid Karzai will fly to Germany. Meantime, the former President Hamid Karzai will meet with some high-ranking officials of Germany and then have separate meetings with Western politicians and intelligence officers. Furthermore, after that, President Hamid Karzai will meet with the American ambassador to lay out the strategy for the potential negotiations.
  • However, relatives of Karzai have not commented on the issue yet.
  • This is the first time that Karzai is leaving the country since the Taliban came to power.

Why it matters? The permission from the Taliban comes even as a month ago, his brother, Mahmood Karzai, was detained at the Kabul airport by the Taliban’s intelligence service from the Kabul airport as he was boarding an Ariana Airlines flight to Dubai.

  • Earlier in May this year, another prominent Afghan leader from the Republic era, Abdullah Abdullah, had been granted permission to travel abroad to meet his family and travel to India after being not allowed to leave the country for over a year by the Taliban.

Zoom out: Hamid Karzai and Abdullah Abdullah are among Afghanistan’s political figures who have remained in Afghanistan even after the fall of the previous government, although there have been reports in recent months of them being under house arrest and banned from travelling. Most of those who belonged to the previous regime, fled the country as the Taliban swiftly took power in Kabul in August 2021.

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