Afghanistan crisis Highlights: In his first televised address to the nation since Taliban advance, Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani Saturday said he will not allow “the imposed war” on Afghans to bring further killings, loss of the gains of past 20 years, destruction of public property and continued instability, reported TOLOnews. “I assure you that as your president my focus is to prevent further instability, violence and displacement of the people,” TOLOnews quoted Ghani as saying. Ghani also said that he was consulting local leaders and international partners regarding the situation in the country.
The Taliban captured Logar province, situated less than 80 kilometres south of Afghanistan’s capital Kabul on Saturday, reported The Associated Press. Homa Ahmadi, a lawmaker from Logar, claimed the Taliban now controlled the entire province including its capital, and had even reached a district in the neighbouring Kabul province.
In another development, the insurgents took over the main radio station in Kandahar on Saturday, and renamed it the Voice of Sharia, or Islamic law. In a video released by the group, an unnamed insurgent said it would be henceforth be used to broadcast news and recite the Quran. Music would no longer be played on it.
Fears are growing that an assault on the capital city of Kabul could be near. The Indian Express’ reporter Shubhajit Roy reports from Kabul: “This is a city nervous and fearful of what lies ahead, dreading the thought of a return to times when women had no rights, music was taboo and life, as they have known it these past many years, did not exist.
“Officials and diplomats in Kabul are watching the Taliban advance with great concern. The political situation is unfolding rapidly in Kabul, and there is speculation of a change in leadership, perhaps a power-sharing arrangement that will stop bloodshed. But no one is sure, and rumours fly thick and fast.”