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Friday, September 24, 2021

Afghanistan-Taliban crisis Highlights: Taliban urge Afghan unity as protests spread to Kabul

Kabul, Afghanistan-Taliban crisis highlights: On Thursday, the Taliban celebrated Afghanistan's Independence Day, declaring it had beaten "the arrogant of power of the world" in the United States.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: August 20, 2021 8:55:55 am
Taliban fighters patrol in Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021. (AP)

Afghanistan-Taliban crisis highlights: The Taliban called on Afghanistan’s imams to urge unity when they hold their first Friday prayers since the Islamist group seized control of the country, as protests against the takeover spread to more cities on Thursday, including the capital, Kabul.

Several people were killed when Taliban militants fired on a crowd in the eastern city of Asadabad, a witness said. Another witness reported gunshots near a rally in Kabul, but they appeared to be Taliban firing into the air.

On Thursday, the Taliban celebrated Afghanistan’s Independence Day, declaring it had beaten “the arrogant of power of the world” in the United States. Afghanistan’s Independence Day commemorates the 1919 treaty which ended British rule in the central Asian nation, the Associated Press reported.

Live Blog

Protest against Taliban in multiple cities of Afghanistan; Joe Biden says Aug. 31 deadline in Afghanistan might have to be extended.

08:10 (IST)20 Aug 2021
Female journalist in Afghanistan says she was stopped from working

Shabnam Dawran, a news anchor with state channel RTA Pushto, has released a video saying she went to her office and was told to return home, despite assurances by the Taliban that women would be allowed to work under their rule

07:59 (IST)20 Aug 2021
China can contribute to Afghan development, says Taliban spokesman

China has played a constructive role in promoting peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan and is welcome to contribute to the rebuilding of the country, Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen told Chinese state media.

In dealing with the Taliban, an increasingly powerful China may be able to leverage the fact that unlike Russia and the United States, it has not fought in Afghanistan.

"China is a big country with a huge economy and capacity - I think they can play a very big role in the rebuilding, rehabilitation, reconstruction of Afghanistan," Shaheen told CGTN television in an interview late on Thursday. (AP)

22:03 (IST)19 Aug 2021
As demonstrations spread, Taliban face growing challenges

Protesters took to the streets to rally against Taliban rule for the second day Thursday, this time marching in Kabul, including near the presidential palace.

At one demonstration in the city, about 200 people had gathered before the Taliban broke it up violently. The Taliban announced a curfew in the southeastern city of Khost, also on Thursday, after protests there. Authorities did not say how long it would be in effect.

People protesting Taliban rule raise the flag of the deposed Afghan government, in Kabul, Afghanistan on Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021. (The New York Times)

It was a remarkable display of defiance, coming just one day after violence broke out at protests in two other cities, with Taliban members shooting into crowds and beating demonstrators.

It was also further evidence that while tens of thousands are now seeking escape, there were many more left behind and determined to have a voice in the kind of country in which they live. Read the full report here.

Protesters rally against Taliban rule in Kabul, Afghanistan on Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021. (The New York Times)
21:28 (IST)19 Aug 2021
Taliban can't rule by force: Afghan officials

A delegation of prominent Afghan leaders and officials has warned that a Taliban government will not survive for long if it repeats past mistakes.

The delegation, headed by Afghan parliament speaker, Mir Rehman Rehmani, spoke to reporters in Islamabad on Thursday, after meeting Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan and other government and military officials this week. The Afghans arrived in the Pakistani capital on Monday, a day after the Taliban swept into Kabul and took over Afghanistan.

A former Afghan vice president, Mohammad Younis Qanooni, said the future government in Afghanistan should be inclusive, with the participation of all ethnic groups. (AP)

20:31 (IST)19 Aug 2021
Afghan evacuees speak about leaving Kabul

Some of the first evacuees from Afghanistan to arrive in Germany shared their stories with DW.

"It's getting worse every day. I couldn't do anything for my family. What shall I do? I can only save us. I can't save my family," one evacuee said in tears.

A woman said her experience was "terrifying" as "soldiers fired shots to scare people away from entering the airport." "If you grow up in safety, you cannot imagine what happens there, with the small children, it was so horrible — crowds of people trampling over each other," another woman said in tears.

People sit in a German Bundeswehr airplane at the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2021, as the federal armed forces evacuates German citizens and local Afghans who worked for Germany. (AP)
19:20 (IST)19 Aug 2021
US suspends all arms sales to Afghanistan govt

The Biden administration has suspended all arms sales to the government of Afghanistan following the Taliban takeover of the country. In a notice to defence contractors posted Wednesday, the State Department's Political/Military Affairs Bureau said pending or undelivered arms transfers to Afghanistan had been put under review.

"In light of rapidly evolving circumstances in Afghanistan, the Directorate of Defense Sales Controls is reviewing all pending and issued export licenses and other approvals to determine their suitability in furthering world peace, national security and the foreign policy of the United States," it said. (AP)

19:03 (IST)19 Aug 2021
How will the Taliban rule impact India?

What is happening in Afghanistan and how will the Taliban rule impact India? Join us for a live chat on Twitter Spaces now with speakers Nirupama Subramanian and Shubhajit Roy.

18:51 (IST)19 Aug 2021
Joe Biden says Taliban now in 'existential crisis'

President Joe Biden says the Taliban have not changed but are going through an 'existential crisis' about whether they want legitimacy on the global stage as they've taken over Afghanistan. In an interview on ABC's 'Good Morning America,' Biden said that he's "not sure" the Taliban want to be 'recognized by the international community as being a legitimate government.

17:36 (IST)19 Aug 2021
Taliban government in Afghanistan will not be allowed to access loans at present: IMF

The International Monetary Fund today said the new Taliban government in Afghanistan will not 'at the current time' be allowed to access loans or other resources.

In a statement Wednesday, the IMF said it would be guided by the views of the international community. "There is currently a lack of clarity within the international community regarding recognition of a government in Afghanistan, as a consequence of which the country cannot access SDRs or other IMF resources," the statement said.

17:32 (IST)19 Aug 2021
Taliban must decide if it wants international recognition: Joe Biden

The Taliban must decide whether it wants to be recognized by the international community, US President Joe Biden said in an ABC interview aired on Thursday, adding that he did not think the group had changed its fundamental beliefs.

Joe Biden's 'inshallah' to Donald Trump: The word that distracted many  during presidential debate | World News,The Indian Express

15:54 (IST)19 Aug 2021
Romania evacuates single citizen from Kabul

Romania’s foreign ministry says that a military aircraft has evacuated a single Romanian citizen from Kabul airport to Islamabad. It said in a statement that “the particularly difficult security conditions in Kabul meant that the access of other groups of Romanian citizens to the airport could not be achieved.”

15:47 (IST)19 Aug 2021
Flag-waving protests against Taliban in several Afghan cities

Flag-waving protesters took to several Afghan cities on Thursday and several people were killed when Taliban fighters fired on a crowd, a witness told news agency Reuters, in the first popular opposition to the militants since they seized the capital. "Our flag our identity," a crowd of men and some women waving black, red, and green national flags shouted in Kabul, a video clip posted on social media showed.

15:35 (IST)19 Aug 2021
Several killed amid firing by Taliban and stampede during rally in Asadabad: report

Several people were killed on Thursday in the Afghan city of Asadabad when Taliban fighters fired on people waving the national flag at an Independence Day rally, news agency Reuters reported citing a witness. The incident occurred a day after three people were killed in a similar protest in Jalalabad.

14:08 (IST)19 Aug 2021
India's national security challenges becoming complex: Rajnath

Noting that India's national security challenges are increasing and becoming "complex" in view of the changing geopolitical situation globally, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday strongly pitched for a strong, capable and completely 'self-reliant' defense industry in the country. Singh's comments came amid growing concerns in India and elsewhere over the Taliban sweeping across Afghanistan this month, seizing control of Afghanistan following the collapse of the US-backed government. "Today, the security scenario in the whole world is changing very fast. Because of this, the challenges to our national security are increasing and becoming complex. There are constant changes in the global geopolitical situation," Singh said, without making specific references. (PTI)

12:54 (IST)19 Aug 2021
Uttarakhand govt asks people to submit details of stranded kin in Afghanistan

As part of efforts to ensure safe return of Uttarakhand natives stuck in Afghanistan, the state government has asked people whose relatives are stranded to give details of their kin to the district administration.

Additional Chief Secretary Anand Bardhan has asked people to provide the district administration documents like names of their relatives stranded in Afghanistan, their passports and other relevant details. The information can also be provided to the district administration on helpline number 112, Bardhan said.

The state government is making all efforts with the help from the Centre to ensure safe return of people from Uttarakhand stranded in Afghanistan, he said. Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami has also assured people of the state that their relatives stuck in Afghanistan will soon return home safely. (PTI)

12:38 (IST)19 Aug 2021
Russia was ready for Taliban's win due to longtime contacts

When the Taliban swept over Afghanistan, Russia was ready for the rapid developments after working methodically for years to lay the groundwork for relations with the group that it still officially considers a terrorist organisation.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov emphasised this week that Moscow was "in no rush" to recognize the Taliban as the new rulers of Afghanistan, but he added there were "encouraging signals" of their readiness to let other political forces join the government and allow girls into schools.

The Taliban was added to the Russian list of terrorist organizations in 2003, and Moscow has not yet moved to remove the group from the list.

Any contact with such groups is punishable under Russian law, but the Foreign Ministry has responded to questions about the seeming contradiction by saying that its exchanges with the Taliban are essential for international efforts to stabilize Afghanistan. (AP)

12:37 (IST)19 Aug 2021
Taliban marks Afghan independence as challenges to rule rise

The Taliban celebrated Afghanistan's Independence Day on Thursday by declaring it had beaten "the arrogant of power of the world" in the United States, but challenges to their rule ranging from running the country's frozen government to potentially facing armed opposition began to emerge.

From ATMs being out of cash to worries about food across this nation of 38 million people reliant on imports, the Taliban face all the challenges of the civilian government they dethroned without the level of international aid it enjoyed. Meanwhile, opposition figures fleeing to Afghanistan's Panjshir Valley now talk of launching an armed resistance under the banner of the Northern Alliance, which allied with the U.S. during the 2001 invasion.

The Taliban so far have offered no plans for the government they plan to lead, other than to say it will be guided by Shariah, or Islamic, law. But the pressure continues to grow. (AP)

12:09 (IST)19 Aug 2021
EAM Jaishankar and UK counterpart Raab agree to work together on Afghanistan

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and his British counterpart Dominic Raab have exchanged views on the developments in Afghanistan and agreed to work together to tackle shared security threats, support refugees and ease the humanitarian plight of ordinary Afghans.

Jaishankar arrived in New York on Monday to chair meetings in the UN Security Council on technology and peacekeeping and on counter-terrorism under India's current presidency of the Council. During his visit, he held bilateral meetings and discussions with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and other foreign ministers, focusing on the situation in Afghanistan.

"Welcome the conversation today with UK Foreign Secretary @DominicRaab. Exchanged views on the Afghanistan developments and the immediate challenges," Jaishankar tweeted after his meeting with his British counterpart on Wednesday. (PTI)

11:35 (IST)19 Aug 2021
CNN's Ward says Kabul colleague nearly pistol-whipped

Clarissa Ward described on Wednesday how a member of her CNN crew was nearly pistol-whipped by a Taliban fighter as they were covering a tumultuous scene outside the airport in Kabul.

"I've covered all sorts of crazy situations," Ward said in a report that aired on CNN. "This was mayhem. This was nuts."

The network's chief international correspondent has been probably the most visible reporter covering the rapid fall of Afghanistan to Taliban fighters. Perhaps inevitably, that has made her words and even her wardrobe a topic of social media conversation. (AP)

11:34 (IST)19 Aug 2021
UN relocates about 100 personnel from Afghanistan to Kazakhstan in view of security and other constraints in Kabul

The United Nations has moved about 100 of its personnel from Afghanistan to Kazakhstan in view of the 'security and other constraints' in Kabul and they will return to the country as conditions permit, according to the spokesman of the UN chief. The Taliban took control of Afghanistan on Sunday.

Their sudden victory, which comes as the US withdraws from the country following a 20-year-war, has sparked chaos at Kabul's airport, from where America and allied nations are trying to safely evacuate thousands of citizens and allies.

Stephane Dujarric, Spokesman for the Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, told reporters on Wednesday that the group of about 100 UN personnel from across the system travelled from Kabul to Almaty, where they will continue their work remotely. He said the UN thanks the Government of Kazakhstan for the offer to host a temporary remote office of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan. (PTI)

Taliban fighters patrol in Wazir Akbar Khan neighborhood in the city of Kabul, Afghanistan, Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2021. (AP Photo)

As demonstrations spread, Taliban face growing challenges

Protesters took to the streets to rally against Taliban rule for the second day Thursday, this time marching in Kabul, including near the presidential palace. At one demonstration in the city, about 200 people had gathered before the Taliban broke it up violently. The Taliban announced a curfew in the southeastern city of Khost, also on Thursday, after protests there. Authorities did not say how long it would be in effect.

Afghanistan: What Taliban takeover means for the region

The Chinese government has so far appeared to be at ease with the collapse of the Afghan government and the Taliban’s takeover of the country.

“The Chinese embassy in Afghanistan is continuing to operate as normal, and its ambassador and embassy staff will remain in their posts,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said on Monday.

Most Chinese citizens in Afghanistan had earlier returned to China, but the ones who remained behind are in close contact with the embassy, reported the South China Morning Post newspaper.

 

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