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Thursday, October 21, 2021

Afghanistan Taliban highlights today: Legislation in US Senate seeks report on Pakistan’s role in Taliban offensive

Senior Pentagon officials said the collapse of the Afghan government and its security forces in August could be traced to a 2020 US agreement with the Taliban that promised a complete US troop withdrawal.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: September 30, 2021 11:46:45 am
An armed Taliban fighter stands in the corner of a busy street at night in Kabul, Afghanistan. (AP)

Afghanistan Taliban Crisis LIVE Updates: A legislation has been introduced in the US Senate seeking a report from the Secretary of State about his assessment of Pakistan’s role in the Taliban offensive that led to the toppling of the US-backed Afghan government and its support for Taliban offensive in Panjshir Valley, prompting Islamabad to term the move as “unwarranted”.

The ‘Afghanistan Counterterrorism, Oversight and Accountability Act’ seeks a report from the Secretary of State about his assessment of Pakistan’s role in supporting the Taliban from 2001-2020; in the offensive that led to the toppling of the Government of Afghanistan and the looking into the Pakistan support for Taliban offensive against Panjshir Valley and Afghan resistance.

Here are more updates:

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Pentagon leadership wants to discuss ISI’s ties with Taliban within closed doors

US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin along with two of his top generals have told Senators that the ties that Pakistan and its spy agency ISI have with the Taliban can only be discussed within closed doors. In the public domain they can only say that the relationship between the two is going to become increasingly complex post withdrawal.

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin speaks during the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Afghanistan. (Reuters)

“An in-depth conversation about Pakistan probably would be better suited in a closed hearing here so,” Austin told members of the Senate Armed Services Committee when Senators asked pointed questions about recent news reports of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), the intelligence wing of Pakistan Army, and its ties with the Taliban. (PTI)

Americans evacuated from Kabul due to fly on to US, says State Dept

More than 100 US citizens and lawful permanent residents evacuated to Abu Dhabi from Afghanistan aboard a charter flight are expected to fly on to the United States on Thursday, the State Department and flight organisers said.

US officials on Wednesday were working to verify the accuracy of the list of passengers aboard the charter plane, the State Department said, after the flight’s organisers said Washington denied it landing rights. “Our embassy staff in the UAE has been working around the clock to verify the accuracy of the passenger manifest and is coordinating with DHS/Customs and Border Protection on the ground to ensure the passengers are screened and vetted before they are permitted to fly to the United States,” a State Department spokesperson said. “We expect the passengers to continue onward travel tomorrow morning,” the spokesperson added.

Afghan collapse rooted in 2020 deal with Taliban, says US general

Senior Pentagon officials said Wednesday the collapse of the Afghan government and its security forces in August could be traced to a 2020 US agreement with the Taliban that promised a complete US troop withdrawal.

Gen. Frank McKenzie, Commander of U.S. Central Command, appears on screen as he speaks about Afghanistan during a virtual briefing in Washington. (AP/File)

Gen. Frank McKenzie, the head of Central Command, told the House Armed Services Committee that once the US troop presence was pushed below 2,500 as part of President Joe Biden’s decision in April to complete a total withdrawal by September, the unraveling of the US-backed Afghan government accelerated. “The signing of the Doha agreement had a really pernicious effect on the government of Afghanistan and on its military — psychological more than anything else, but we set a date-certain for when we were going to leave and when they could expect all assistance to end,” McKenzie said.

 

 

 

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