Afghanistan Latest News & Updates: Taliban Conflict, Who Said What?
Afghanistan Latest News
Earlier in July 2021, U.S. president Biden announced that the US troops will be withdrawn from Afghanistan by September 11, 2021. Following the decision, some of the troops have already been withdrawn. The initiative has been taken in order to cease the ongoing conflict with the Taliban.
The historical details of the Taliban-Afghanistan Conflict can be checked here.
July 16, 2021
News from Afghanistan surfaced along with a letter, it is shared that the Taliban has made more headways along the borders of Pakistan, Iran, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan.
As per reports on Twitter, the letter issued by the Taliban’s Cultural Commission said, “All imams and mullahs in captured areas should provide the Taliban with a list of girls above 15 and widows under 45 to be married to Taliban fighters.” Refer to more details here.
August 10, 2021
On Tuesday U.S. President Joe Biden once again ruled out any policy change in the withdrawal of his troops from Afghanistan in spite of the current situation in Afghanistan. He said, “Look, we spent over a trillion dollars over 20 years. We trained and equipped over 300,000 Afghan forces. Afghan leaders have to come together. We lost thousands — lost to death and injury — thousands of American personnel. They’ve got to fight for themselves, fight for their nation.”
Mr. Biden said, “The United States — I’ll insist we continue to keep the commitments we made of providing close air support, making sure that their air force functions and is operable, resupplying their forces with food and equipment, and paying all their salaries. But they’ve got to want to fight. They have outnumbered the Taliban,”
“But we are going to continue to keep our commitment. But I do not regret my decision,” he said.
As the US troops keep withdrawing from the Afghan, the Taliban is progressing fast and taking control of the provinces which were earlier controlled by the Afghanistan Government with US support.
It was warned earlier that the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan would lead to chaos in the war-torn country, thousands of families flee homes due to the intense fighting going on between Taliban and government forces in several provinces.
The map published on Aljazeera depicts how Taliban forces are occupying the territories that were governed by the Afghanistan government earlier.
August 13, 2021
it is reported that the Taliban is inching near the Afghani capital Kabul, if we go by the reports, till now, the Taliban has captured 18 provinces out of a total of 34.
In view of the war-like situation, many western countries such as U.S., U.K., Canada, Switzerland, Norway, Germany, Denmark, Finland, and the Netherlands have started either closing down or reducing the staff count of their respective embassies.
Most of them are evacuating the staff from Afghanistan on priority.
August 16, 2021
As the Taliban enters Kabul, Afghanistan’s ex-president, Ashraf Ghani’s suddenly resigned from his position and flew away from the country to Tajikistan as the Afghan Taliban appeared to come into power. Ghani’s disloyalty made the public angry and they criticized the ex-leader for his disloyalty to the state.
Chairman of the Top Council for Nationwide Reconciliation, Abdullah Abdullah on Sunday announced Ghani’s resignation in a video message on Facebook.
He said, “The previous President of Afghanistan has left Afghanistan … He has left the country on this state [for that] God will dangle him to account”
A female rights activist said, “Ghani is gone, but the 38 million people of Afghanistan remain.”
The situation is grim in Afghanistan as the Taliban is taking over the power of the country. The situation at the Kabul airport is chaotic, people desperately are trying to flee even by dangling outside of U.S. Airforce planes.
A disturbing video surfaced on social media where 3 people are seen falling from the US Airforce plane that took off from Kabul airport.
This just broke my heart.? Person clinging to the flight tyres just to escape their homeland and fall off from the sky and die, who would have expected such a death. Prayers and prayers only for all those people. #Afghanistan— ChimChim⁷ ?? (@Bangtanniiees) August 16, 2021
Who Said What?
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg
NATO will keep the civilian diplomatic presence in Afghanistanis, it is trying to help the Afghanistan government as much as possible, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told in a statement following a meeting of NATO envoys on 13th August.
He said, “Our aim remains to support the Afghan government and security forces as much as possible. The security of our personnel is paramount. NATO will maintain our diplomatic presence in Kabul, and continue to adjust as necessary.”
US State Department
As reported by Aljazeera, on the 10th of August 2021 “the US peace envoy was in Qatar to warn the Taliban not to pursue a military victory on the ground.”
The US State Department said, “Zalmay Khalilzad, the US envoy, was in Doha, Qatar, where the Taliban maintain a political office, to help formulate a joint international response to the rapidly deteriorating situation in Afghanistan”.
Envoys of stakeholder countries (the US, the UK, the EU, the UN, China, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, and Russia) are in Qatar to discuss the deteriorating situation in the war-torn country.
Pentagon Spokesman John Kirby
In a press conference, on 10th August, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said, “When we look back, it’s going to come down to leadership and what leadership was demonstrated, or not,”
About the effect of U.S. airstrikes on Taliban that have been carried out during the past few weeks, Kirby said, “Nobody is suggesting, nobody has suggested here at the Pentagon that airstrikes are a panacea that will solve all the problems, all of the conditions on the ground.”
He added, “What we have said is that the Afghan forces have the capability, they have the capacity, they have a numerical advantage,” Kirby added. “It’s really going to come down to the leadership and the will to use those capabilities.”
Rashid Khan Appealed to World Leaders
Amid rising tensions and casualties in Afghanistan, the famous Afghan cricketer Rashid Khan on Tuesday (10th August) Tweeted, “Dear World Leaders! My country is in chaos,thousand of innocent people, including children & women, get martyred everyday, houses & properties being destructed.Thousand families displaced.. Don’t leave us in chaos. Stop killing Afghans & destroying Afghaniatan. We want peace.”
He also appealed to people to support his foundation for an emergency fundraiser that would provide basic essentials to those affected by the conflict between the Afghanistan government and the Taliban.
George W. Bush Statement
Recently, in an interview with a German broadcaster, George W. Bush, Former U.S. President expressed his concerns over the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan. He said, “it’s a mistake, and you know, I think it is, yeah, because I think the consequences are going to be unbelievably bad.”
Bush fears that treatment that would be meted by the Taliban on Afghan women, children, and other naïve people would be unbelievably bad. He stated: “I’m afraid Afghan women and girls are going to suffer unspeakable harm.”
The views came at the backdrop of Taliban claims (as of 10th July 2021) of occupying border areas of Afghanistan, read more.
During the first year of his tenure, Former US President, Bush initiated the longest war in Afghanistan in the wake of the 9/11 attacks to catch Osama Bin Laden, knock down the Taliban and Al-Qaeda. After 9/11 the Afghanistan war has cost hugely – as per the UN assistance mission in Afghanistan is estimated that the number of civilian casualties since 2009 is nearly 111,000 and around $104.5 BILLION of U.S. foreign aid dispersed.
Russian Representative on Afghanistan
President Vladimir Putin’s special representative on Afghanistan, Zamir Kabulov, in an interview with the Russian RIA news agency stated that the Afghan govt.’s stance on talks with the Taliban is as “It’s hypocrisy. It’s an attempt to close their eyes to the reality which exists and these are empty words,”
Chinese Foreign Minister Media Talk & Country’s Policy Statement
According to the reports, “China evacuated 210 of its nationals from Afghanistan last week. In a policy statement, China asked Afghanistan to make a “clean break” from all terrorist forces, especially the al-Qaeda-backed Uyghur Muslim extremist group ETIM fighting for the volatile Xinjiang province’s independence.
He also praised President Ashraf Ghani and quoted saying, “He has done a lot of work for national unity, social stability, and improvement of people’s livelihood, which should be justly evaluated”
India Believes – “future of Afghanistan cannot be its past”
At the meeting of the SCO foreign ministers’ contact group on Afghanistan in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, on 14th July, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar, in a series of tweets, quoted, “The world, region and the Afghan people all want the same end state: An independent, neutral, unified, peaceful, democratic and prosperous nation… The future of Afghanistan cannot be its past. A whole new generation has different expectations. We should not let them down.”
Today, in another tweet, the External affairs minister, said, “Pleased to call on President @ashrafghani. Discussed the current situation in and around Afghanistan. Reiterated our support for peace, stability, and development of Afghanistan.”