Kabul, Afghanistan-Taliban crisis Highlights: Meanwhile, India cancelled all previously issued visas to Afghan nationals who are presently not in the country and has asked them to travel to India only on an electronic visa (e-Visa).
Afghanistan-Taliban crisis Highlights: Afghanistan’s Taliban have appointed senior veterans to the posts of finance minister and defence minister, two members of the group said, news agency Reuters reported citing local media.
The Taliban have not formally announced the appointments, which a commander said were provisional, but Afghanistan’s Pajhwok news agency said on Tuesday that Gul Agha had been named as finance minister and Sadr Ibrahim acting interior minister.
Meanwhile, China says it has established an “open and effective communication and consultation with the Afghan Taliban,” following a meeting between representatives of the group and Beijing’s ambassador to Kabul, according to the Associated Press.
Afghanistan-Taliban crisis Highlights: Russia holds military exercises in Tajikistan, Final batch of Afghan Sikhs and Hindus to be evacuated today, Joe Biden decides to stick with Aug 31 pullout date. Follow highlights here.
A plane lands at Tempelhof Airport during the airlift of supplies to West Berlin, 1948. (Henry Ries/The New York Times)
When US President Joe Biden briefly referred to the Berlin airlift — the operation 73 years ago to feed a city whose access had been choked off by the Soviet Union — in describing the United States’ evacuation efforts in Afghanistan, he was revealing the inspiration for a broader plan to redeem his messy exit.
After 10 days of missed signals, desperate crowds and violence around Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Biden and his team are eager to shift the narrative about the chaotic end of America’s longest war.
Occupying the presidential palace in Kabul, the triumphant Taliban leaders with bazookas in their hands proclaimed that “War has ended in Afghanistan”. Yet, from all around Afghanistan, we see images of anxiety, desperation, chaos, and fear. Winter has finally arrived in Afghanistan.
The situation demands grappling with some serious questions: How has the Taliban regained territorial control over Afghanistan? How has the Taliban managed to be so strong, notwithstanding efforts by America to bring it down? What has made this possible? Among many causal explanations, the geopolitical economy of opium can be traced as a plausible factor that led to the Taliban’s victory.
As the tragic chaos at the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul continues, two interconnected political negotiations unfolding are likely to determine Afghanistan’s immediate future. One is focussed on building a new political order within Afghanistan and the other is about gaining international recognition for the incipient Taliban-led government.
Notwithstanding the current triumphalism in Pakistan at “overthrowing” the US-backed order in Kabul and “pushing” India out of Afghanistan, Delhi can afford to step back and signal that it can wait. For one, Rawalpindi is some distance away from establishing a new political order dominated by the Taliban. Then there is the challenge of securing the international legitimacy of a Pakistan-backed order in Afghanistan and sustaining its future.
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