Former Afghan spy chief
Rahmatullah Nabil

Former Afghan spy chief launches his own political party and calls for a “decentralised republic.”

Rahmatullah Nabil, who headed the Afghan spy agency (NDS) in the previous government between 2010 and 2012, today launched a new political party, joining the cadre of Afghan politicians to lead their own parties.

Afghanistan National Liberty Party (ANLP), in a launch statement accompanied by a “Short-term Charter”, said it was proposing “a roadmap for a transition period” to reverse the “horrendous trajectory the country has been put on.”

At a virtual press conference on Monday from Turkey, Mr Nabil said that ANLP was led by a “temporary leadership council,” but did not provide any details on who sat in that council. The Taliban, Mr Nabil said, was “illegitimate”, whom his party would not negotiate with. “We can defeat the Taliban with unity,” he said.

ANLP’s launch statement said its priority was to “to organize and coordinate Afghan citizens’ political actions and influence political policies of interested regional and global actors in order to get out of the abyss of the current political, social, and economic crisis.”

Rahmatullah Nabil said he wanted a “decentralised republic, in which provincial governors and mayors were elected and set their own budgets.” The party’s objective he said, was to help convene a “Grand Founders Assembly” to decide the country’s future, but did not elaborate on how the assembly would be formed.

However, Mr Nabil remained vague on the mechanisms through which his party would achieve its goals. ANLP, he said, will reveal its longterm plans soon. He did not rule out armed struggle against the Taliban if political endeavours did not yield results.