Taliban spokesman admits fall of Kabul unexpected as insurgents scramble to name leader

Taliban spokesman says ‘we were not ready’ for new government

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A Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, has admitted that they did not expect to take over Kabul so quickly. The militants claimed victory in Afghanistan’s Panjshir province, the last remaining hold-out among Afghanistan’s 34 provinces to resist the Taliban, less than a month after retaking the capital. Despite all Western forces now out of the country, the Taliban have yet to form an official Government.

Mujahid said to Channel 4 presenter Lindsey Hilsum: “Our aim was that when we were outside Kabul we would stay there and the previous Government would still be in power.

“And through negotiations, we would do things in a normal way, so there would also be security and order in Kabul.

“So you saw when we got near Kabul, the Government left.”

He continued: “The police ran away. The police stations were empty. The Ministries were empty.

There was a risk of looting.

Ms Hilsum then asked: “Some people are saying that different people within the Taliban are arguing about who gets this ministry and who gets that ministry.

“Tell me about that.”

The spokesman answered: “This is not correct. In our system, there is one thing we strongly agree on.

“Whatever our leader tells us, we all agree and don’t argue about it.”


Mujahid replied: “First of all his responsibility is temporary.

“And secondly, he has managed our finance for 20 years.”

The Taliban quickly reclaimed vast swathes of Afghanistan since US President Joe Biden announced in May all US troops would leave the country by September 11.

The quick fall of Kabul in the insurgents’ hands sparked a chaotic mass evacuation that concluded on August 31.

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