scorecardresearch
Follow Us:
Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Afghanistan-Taliban crisis Highlights: US urges Americans to keep clear of Kabul airport as crowd chaos grows

Kabul, Afghanistan-Taliban crisis Highlights: The US government is currently struggling in rescuing Americans and other foreigners after the Taliban took over Afghanistan.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: August 22, 2021 7:37:59 am
An Afghan family enter into Pakistan through a border crossing point, in Chaman, Pakistan, Friday, Aug. 20, 2021. (AP)

Afghanistan-Taliban crisis Highlights: The United States on Saturday advised Americans in Afghanistan to avoid travelling to Kabul airport as thousands thronged the place trying to flee the country almost a week after the Taliban took control of the south Asian nation.

Meanwhile, a Taliban official denied abduction of any foreigner by the Islamist militant group, however, stating that some were being questioned before leaving Afghanistan. As several countries struggled to ramp up evacuations in Afghanistan amid chaos, there were reports of the Taliban kidnapping foreigners. “Our fighters will continue to demonstrate restraint,” news agency Reuters quoted the Taliban official as saying. Ruling out incidents of reported kidnappings, he added, “We are questioning some of them before they exit the country.”

A group of 72 Afghan Sikhs and Hindus were stopped by the Taliban from boarding an Indian Air Force (IAF) plane to India. An IAF C-130J transport aircraft took off from Kabul with around 85 Indians, PTI reported. It landed in Dushanbe in Tajikistan for refuelling, before making its way to New Delhi.

Meanwhile, the Taliban are likely to unveil a new governing framework for Afghanistan within the next few weeks, a spokesperson said on Saturday. “Legal, religious and foreign policy experts in the Taliban aim to present the new governing framework in the next few weeks,” the official told Reuters. Since returning to power in the country, the Taliban has sought to present a more moderate face. The co-founder of the militant group, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, arrived in Kabul on Saturday for talks with fellow members of the group and other politicians on establishing a new Afghan government.

The Taliban will be accountable for its actions and will investigate reports of reprisals and atrocities carried out by members, an official of the Islamist militant group told Reuters on Saturday.

The ongoing evacuation of US citizens and Afghan nationals who supported Americans over the last two decades is one of the largest and most difficult airlifts in history, US President Joe Biden said Friday. He had earlier pledged to bring back all Americans from the country, which descended into a state of chaos after the Taliban’s return to power.

Live Blog

Afghanistan-Taliban crisis Highlights: IAF plane evacuates 85 Indians from Afghanistan; 72 Afghan Sikhs, Hindus stopped by Taliban from boarding IAF plane; Taliban vow to be accountable; Follow all the latest news and live updates here.

22:00 (IST)21 Aug 2021
Anti-Taliban forces say they’ve taken three districts in Afghanistan’s north

Forces holding out against the Taliban in northern Afghanistan say they have taken three districts close to the Panjshir valley where remnants of government forces and other militia groups have gathered.

Defence Minister General Bismillah Mohammadi, who has vowed to resist the Taliban, said in a tweet that the districts of Deh Saleh, Bano and Pul-Hesar in the neighbouring province of Baghlan to the north of Panjshir had been taken.

It was not immediately clear what forces were involved but the incident adds to scattered indications of opposition to the Taliban who swept to power in a lightning campaign that saw them take all of Afghanistan’s main cities in a week. Read more

21:01 (IST)21 Aug 2021
EAM Jaishankar speaks to German counterpart on evacuation challenges in Afghanistan

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Saturday spoke to his German counterpart Heiko Maas on the latest developments in Afghanistan and challenges relating to emergency evacuation from Kabul. "Appreciate the call from Foreign Minister @HeikoMaas of Germany. Discussed the evacuation challenges in Afghanistan and the policy implications of the changes there," Jaishankar tweeted. --PTI

20:53 (IST)21 Aug 2021
US urges Americans to keep clear of Kabul airport as crowd chaos grows

The United States on Saturday advised Americans in Afghanistan to avoid travelling to Kabul airport as thousands thronged the place trying to flee the country almost a week after the Taliban took control of the south Asian nation, Reuters reported.

19:55 (IST)21 Aug 2021
France evacuates 570 people from Afghanistan

France's says it has evacuated over 570 people, including at least 407 Afghan citizens, from Kabul onboard its military aircraft since Monday. In a statement, the Defense Ministry added that a fourth evacuation plane landed Friday evening in Paris, carrying 4 French citizens and 99 Afghans, mostly people who worked with the French government or French groups in Afghanistan. --AP

19:53 (IST)21 Aug 2021
Not giving up: Afghan relatives in UK reach out for help

For people with family members trying to get out of Afghanistan, recent days have brought a frantic mix of fear and frustration. In west London, many relatives are doing what they can: seeking advice and information from the Afghanistan & Central Asian Association. The organization was set up to support refugees 20 years ago, the same year a U.S.-led international force drove the Taliban from power after the 9/11 attacks. --AP

17:45 (IST)21 Aug 2021
UK will work with Taliban if necessary, says PM Johnson

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said the UK's diplomatic efforts to find a solution in Afghanistan remain ongoing, which leaves open the prospect of working with the Taliban "if necessary". Speaking to the media after an emergency Cabinet Office Briefing Rooms (COBRA) meeting to discuss the crisis in the region on Friday, Johnson said "formidable" challenges remain around the evacuation of British nationals and supporters from Kabul airport but the situation was getting "slightly better". "What I want to assure people is that our political and diplomatic efforts to find a solution for Afghanistan, working with the Taliban, of course if necessary, will go on and our commitment to Afghanistan is lasting," Johnson said. --PTI

17:09 (IST)21 Aug 2021
Taliban bans co-education in Afghanistan’s Herat province: Report

Days after vowing to respect women’s rights in Afghanistan, Taliban officials in the restive Herat province have banned co-education in government and private universities, describing it as the ‘root of all evils in society’.

The decision was taken after a meeting between varsity professors, owners of private institutions, and Taliban authorities, Khaama Press News Agency reported on Saturday.

This is the first ‘fatwa’ issued by the Taliban after its swift takeover of Afghanistan last week. Capital Kabul’s capture on Sunday signified the end of the US’s longest war, launched after the September 11, 2001 terror attacks. Read more

15:30 (IST)21 Aug 2021
Abdullah, Karzai meet acting governor of Kabul to discuss priority of protecting people's lives

National Reconciliation Council chairperson Abdullah Abdullah and former president Hamid Karzai met Abdul Rahman Mansoor, the acting Taliban governor for Kabul, and discussed the priority of protecting people's lives and property.

15:11 (IST)21 Aug 2021
Taliban official says no foreigners kidnapped, but some being quizzed

A Taliban official on Saturday denied abduction of any foreigner by the Islamist militant group, however, stating that some are being questioned before leaving Afghanistan. As several countries struggled to ramp up evacuations in Afghanistan amid chaos just a week after Taliban took over the south Asian nation, there were reports of the Taliban kidnapping foreigners. "Our fighters will continue to demonstrate restraint," news agency Reuters quoted the Taliban official as saying. Ruling out incidents of reported kidnappings, he  added, "We are questioning some of them before they exit the country."

14:29 (IST)21 Aug 2021
14 arrested in Assam over supporting Taliban on social media: Police

Fourteen people were arrested from across Assam for alleged social media posts supporting the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, police said on Saturday.

The arrests were made since Friday night and they have been booked under different sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, IT Act and CrPC, a senior police officer said. "We were on alert and monitoring social media for inflammatory posts," the officer said. Two people each were arrested from Kamrup Metropolitan, Barpeta, Dhubri and Karimganj districts, police said. (PTI)

14:14 (IST)21 Aug 2021
India evacuates around 80 people from Kabul

 Around 80 Indian nationals were evacuated on Saturday from Kabul by a transport military aircraft of the Indian Air Force amid a deteriorating security scenario in the Afghan capital, people familiar with the development said.
 
The aircraft landed at Dushanbe in Tajikistan after evacuating the Indians, they said, adding the flight is expected to arrive at the Hindon airbase near Delhi in the evening.
 
India has already evacuated 200 people, including the Indian envoy and other staffers of its embassy in Kabul, in two C-17 heavy-lift transport aircraft of the IAF after the Taliban seized control of Kabul on Sunday. (PTI)

13:30 (IST)21 Aug 2021
72 Afghan Sikhs, Hindus stopped by Taliban from boarding IAF plane

A group of 72 Afghan Sikhs and Hindus were Saturday stopped by the Taliban from boarding an Indian Air Force (IAF) plane to India. An IAF C-130J transport aircraft took off from Kabul with around 85 Indians. It landed in Dushanbe in Tajikistan for refuelling, before making its way to New Delhi.

12:49 (IST)21 Aug 2021
Taiwan says China wants to 'emulate' the Taliban

Taiwan's foreign minister accused China on Saturday of wanting to "emulate" the Taliban, saying the island that Beijing claims as sovereign Chinese territory did not wish to be subject to communism or crimes against humanity.

The rapid fall of the U.S.-backed Afghan government has sparked heated debate in Taiwan about whether they could suffer the same fate to a Chinese invasion, while state media in China has said Kabul's fate showed Taiwan it cannot trust Washington.Writing on Twitter in response to the U.S. State Department reiterating a call for China to stop pressuring the island, Taiwan Foreign Minister Joseph Wu expressed his thanks to the United States for upholding the wishes and best interests of Taiwan's people.

"They include democracy & freedom from communism, authoritarianism & crimes against humanity," Wu said. (Reuters)

12:11 (IST)21 Aug 2021
Bahrain says allows airport use for evacuations

The island kingdom of Bahrain has said it is "allowing flights to make use of Bahrain's transit facilities" amid the evacuations of Afghanistan. The kingdom made the announcement in a statement released early Saturday. Bahrain, in the Persian Gulf off Saudi Arabia, is home to the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet. The announcement comes as the U.S. faced issues Friday with its facilities at Al-Udeid Air Base in Qatar filling up with those fleeing the Taliban takeover of the country. (AP)

11:57 (IST)21 Aug 2021
Taliban co-founder Baradar in Kabul for talks on setting up government: Official

The Taliban's co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar arrived in Kabul on Saturday for talks with fellow members of the group and other politicians on establishing a new Afghan government, AFP reported. 

"He will be in Kabul to meet jihadi leaders and politicians for an inclusive government set-up," a senior Taliban official told AFP.

11:50 (IST)21 Aug 2021
IAF plane evacuates 85 Indians from Afghanistan: Reports

An Indian Air Force C-130J transport aircraft took off from Kabul with over 85 Indians, ANI reported. The aircraft landed in Tajikistan for refuelling, sources said. 

11:15 (IST)21 Aug 2021
Biden's view of job comes into focus after Afghan collapse

President Joe Biden made up his mind about Afghanistan months, really years, ago. For more than a decade, Biden advocated for an end to American involvement in Afghanistan. But he did so as something of an outsider, a senator whose ultimate power came in the form of a single vote on Capitol Hill or a vice president who advised another president.

But authority over America's longest war finally fell into Biden's hands this year and he insisted that the US withdraw from Afghanistan, settling on an August 31 deadline. And despite the rapid collapse of the Afghan government, spurring a humanitarian crisis and searing criticism at home and from traditional allies, he was resolute, at times defiant. He took responsibility and in turns leveled blame at his predecessor. (AP)

11:13 (IST)21 Aug 2021
Afghanistan series: PCB puts national camp and team selection on hold

The Pakistan Cricket Board has put on hold a training camp that was scheduled to start on Saturday in Lahore and also the announcement of its squad for the One-Day series against Afghanistan next month in Sri Lanka.

With Taliban taking over the reins of Afghanistan and the country facing its worst crisis in last two decades, the PCB wants a confirmation from Afghanistan Cricket Board whether the series is on and only the will they announce the squad.

The series is due to begin on September 3 in Hambantota in Sri Lanka with the Sri Lanka board hosting the matches on behalf of the ACB. (PTI)

10:27 (IST)21 Aug 2021
Blinken says 12 nations to host Afghan evacuees

Secretary of State Antony Blinken says 13 countries have thus far agreed to at least temporarily host at-risk Afghans evacuated from Afghanistan and a dozen more have agreed to serve as transit points for evacuees, including Americans and others. Blinken says in a Friday statement that potential Afghan refugees not already cleared for resettlement in the United States will be housed at facilities in Albania, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Chile, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Mexico, Poland, Qatar, Rwanda, Ukraine and Uganda. (AP)

10:25 (IST)21 Aug 2021
Pak slum township sees influx of people fleeing from Taliban rule in Afghanistan

On the outskirts of Pakistan's populous metropolitan city of Karachi is nestled a slum township, which in recent days is seeing an influx of Afghan families fleeing from the Taliban rule in the northern Kunduz province in conflict-ridden Afghanistan.

Located on the northern outskirts, just off the super highway outside Karachi, the Afghan basti (slum township), which is made up of concrete and mud houses and even has families residing in tarpaulin tents, is seeing more displaced Afghan families reaching here since the Taliban seized control of Afghanistan and also took over Kabul. (PTI)

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has found refuge in the United Arab Emirates. (File photo from Facebook/Ashraf Ghani/via REUTERS)

Meanwhile, the United Nations refugee agency said that most Afghans are unable to leave their homeland and those who may be in danger "have no clear way out", "The vast majority of Afghans are not able to leave the country through regular channels," Shabia Mantoo, spokesperson of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) told a media briefing.

Earlier today, a NATO official told news agency Reuters that more than 18,000 people have been flown out of Kabul since the Taliban took over Afghanistan's capital. Thousands of people, desperate to flee the country, were still thronging the airport, the official who declined to be identified told the news agency, even though the Taliban have urged people without legal travel documents to go home.

Explained: The Taliban war chest

In returning to power in Kabul over the weekend, the Taliban demonstrated both the success of a lightning military offensive against Afghanistan’s then government, as well as their remarkable resilience in the face of onslaughts by the world’s most powerful military for 20 years.

The US government will retain a laser focus on its counterterrorism mission in Afghanistan, President Biden said, warning of a forceful response to any attack on American forces or disruption of its operations at the Kabul airport. "We're also keeping a close watch on any potential terrorist threat at or around the airport, including from the ISIS affiliates in Afghanistan," he said.

When they were driven out of Kabul in November 2001, the Taliban had been in power for a little over five years, and in existence for only seven. What makes them the fighting force that outlasted the United States in its longest ever war, and defeated the Afghans who received equipment and training worth over $80 billion from the Americans? Where have the Taliban found the funds to sustain themselves over a two-decade war with an adversary with almost limitless resources?

In returning to power in Kabul over the weekend, the Taliban demonstrated both the success of a lightning military offensive against Afghanistan’s then government, as well as their remarkable resilience in the face of onslaughts by the world’s most powerful military for 20 years.

When they were driven out of Kabul in November 2001, the Taliban had been in power for a little over five years, and in existence for only seven. What makes them the fighting force that outlasted the United States in its longest ever war, and defeated the Afghans who received equipment and training worth over $80 billion from the Americans? Where have the Taliban found the funds to sustain themselves over a two-decade war with an adversary with almost limitless resources?

PB Mehta writes: The American withdrawal from Afghanistan and the sins of empire

American empire has been stuck in a place where, to use Polybius’s words, “it can neither endure its condition, nor the means to overcome it.” In the context of Afghanistan, learned strategic thinkers and broadsheets of imperial privilege like The New York Times, will fulminate over roads not taken. But this exercise, as valuable as it might be, misses the wood for the trees. These questions re-enact the presumption of imperial omniscience, innocence and power. In Phil Klay’s masterpiece, Missionaries, Lisette, a journalist who has spent time in Afghanistan, asks the question: “Any wars right now we are not losing?” She promptly thinks the answer is Colombia. But this answer turns on how one defines “not losing”. The exorbitant privilege of empire is you even get to define what counts as loss and shrug off its costs.

For Afghan parkour groups, return of Taliban spells end of free run

Holed up in a dormitory in Kabul, Qudrat Frotan breaks down remembering the last time he stepped outside. The 23-year-old was among the desperate Afghans who swarmed the international airport on Monday to escape the country after the Taliban captured the capital. An explosion, the resulting stampede and injuries to his roommate made Frotan retreat.

“My friend has 16 stitches on his head. His right arm is broken. I saw two girls lying on the ground but no one dared to pick them up and take them to the hospital,” Frotan tells The Indian Express. “I rushed back to the dormitory and haven’t left. I am like a prisoner. All I’m hearing is that the Taliban are inspecting houses and people on their list are being taken away.”

Frotan has reason to be worried.

“We worked for peace and equality among the boys and girls of Afghanistan through parkour. That is against the will of the Taliban, and anything against their will is punished.”

  • The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.
0 Comment(s) *
* The moderation of comments is automated and not cleared manually by indianexpress.com.