Afghan Strongmen Join Forces To Push The 'Arrogant' Taliban For A Share Of Power

Afghan Strongmen Join Forces To Push The 'Arrogant' Taliban For A Share Of Power

Andrew H. Sweet

A band of veteran Afghan leaders, including two regional strongmen, are angling for talks with the Taliban and plan to meet within weeks to form a new front for holding negotiations on the country's next government, a member of a group said.

Khalid Noor, son of Atta Mohammad Noor, the once-powerful governor of northern Afghanistan's Balkh province, said the group was comprised of veteran ethnic Uzbek leader Abdul Rashid Dostum and others opposed to the Taliban's takeover.

It will be a challenge for any entity to rule Afghanistan for long without consensus among the country's patchwork of ethnicities, most analysts say.

Unlike their previous period in power before 2001, the predominantly Pashtun Taliban did seek support from Tajiks, Uzbeks, and other minorities as they prepared for their offensive last month.

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