A group of political leaders and President Ashraf Ghani at a meeting on Monday agreed to form a joint command center for public uprising forces to better manage, equip and strengthen them in the fight against the Taliban, sources said.
Abdullah Abdullah, chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation, and other political leaders including Abdul Rab Rasul Sayyaf, Mohammad Yunus Qanooni, Marshal Abdul Rashid Dostum, Mohammad Mohaqiq, as well as the speakers of the National Assembly attended the meeting at the Presidential Palace on Monday, according to a Palace statement.
“They agreed on mobilization, strengthening and the rapid equipping of public uprising forces within the framework of the government” to fight the Taliban, the Palace said after the meeting.
Sources said that key political leaders will be part of this command center, which will mobilize people in various areas to fight the Taliban.
The development comes as Abdullah Abdullah and other political figures discussed the formation of the command center in a meeting at his office earlier this week.
It also comes amid a rapid spread of the fighting to the country’s provincial capitals. Five provincial capitals have fallen to the Taliban in just four days.
Sources said that the politicians involved in the matter will determine how many forces they can mobilize and in which areas they will fight the Taliban.
The decision comes a day after Dostum met with President Ghani, and according to Dostum’s aide, the nation's top general suggested imposing martial law.
“Today, the political leaders suggested that a big military responsibility should be given to Marshal Dostum,” he said.
Analysts said there is a need for a sophisticated management system for the security forces in their fight against the Taliban.
“In war, even a one-minute opportunity is very important. In war, the plans that are made should be implemented quickly,” military affairs analyst Mehrabuddin Safi said.
“It will not be effective if we don’t see efficiency in action,” said Hamidudin Yuldash, an MP from Jawzjan.
The sources also said that amid these efforts to boost the strength of the frontlines against the Taliban, Abdullah Abdullah is expected to travel to Doha on Monday evening for a three-day session there.
Representatives of regional countries as well as the EU and the US are also expected to attend the three meetings on Afghan peace. But it is not clear whether Abdullah will meet with Taliban leaders in Doha.