Taliban official says meeting with Afghan leaders to ensure safety, seek cooperation

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Taliban commanders are set to meet former governors and bureaucrats in more than 20 of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces over the next few days to ensure their safety and seek cooperation, an official of the group said on Sunday.

“We are not forcing any former government official to join or prove their allegiance to us, they have a right to leave the country if they would like,” the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told Reuters.

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The Taliban’s swift takeover of Afghanistan has sparked fear of reprisals and a return to the harsh version of Islamic law the group exercised when it was in power two decades ago.

Crowds have grown at the airport in the capital Kabul each day over the past week, hindering operations as the United States and other nations attempt to evacuate thousands of their diplomats and civilians as well as numerous Afghans.

“We are seeking complete clarity on foreign forces’ exit plan,” the Taliban official added

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