Kabul: The Taliban declared that the war in Afghanistan was over after rebels captured the presidential palace in Kabul as US-led forces moved in and Western countries scrambled Monday to evacuate their civilians.
President Ashraf Ghani fled the country on Sunday as Islamist militants entered the city, saying he wanted to avoid bloodshed, while hundreds of Afghans desperate to leave Kabul airport flooded.
“Today is a great day for the Afghan people and the Mujahideen. They have seen the fruits of their efforts and their sacrifices for 20 years.” Mohammad Naeem, a spokesman for the Taliban’s political office, told Al Jazeera TV. “Thank God, the war in the country is over.”
It took the Taliban more than a week to regain control of the country after being struck by lightning in Kabul in the form of Afghan forces trained for years and equipped by the United States and others at the cost of billions of dollars.
Al Jazeera broadcast footage of what they said about Taliban commanders in Rashtrapati Bhavan with dozens of armed fighters. Naeem said the nature of the new regime in Afghanistan would be clarified soon, the Taliban did not want to remain isolated and called for peaceful international relations.
“We have reached what we wanted, which is the freedom of our country and the freedom of our people,” he said. “We won’t allow anyone to use our land to target anyone, and we don’t want to harm others.”
US State Department spokesman It said early Monday that all embassy personnel, including Ambassador Ross Wilson, had been transferred to Kabul airport to await evacuation and that the American flag was lowered and removed from the embassy premises.
Hundreds of Afghans stormed the airport’s runway in the dark, hauled luggage and scrambled to make room for one of the last commercial flights to leave the country before they took over US military air traffic control on Sunday.
“How can they occupy the airport and set the terms and conditions to the Afghans?” Human rights activist Rakshanda Jilali said, who was trying to go to Pakistan. “This is our airport, but we see diplomats being evacuated while we wait in complete uncertainty,” Jilali, who said she had received multiple death threats, told the airport via WhatsApp. told Reuters via medium.
more than 60 western countries, including USA, UK, France and Japan, A joint statement was issued saying that all Afghan and international citizens who wish to leave the country should be allowed to leave.
“The Afghan people deserve to live with safety, security and dignity,” the statement said. We stand ready to assist them in the international community. Aid group Emergency said 80 injured people had been brought to its hospital in Kabul, which was at capacity, and that it was only admitting people with life-threatening injuries.
In a Facebook post, Ghani said he had left the country to avoid conflict With the Taliban that would endanger millions of Kabul residents. Some local social media users in Kabul branded Ghani, who did not disclose his location, as a coward for leaving him in the chaos. A tweet from the verified account of the Afghan Embassy in India said: “We are all banging our heads in shame.”
In Washington, opponents of President Joe Biden’s decision to end America’s longest war launched after the September 11, 2001 attacks said the chaos was caused by a leadership failure.
Many Afghans fear that the Taliban will return to past harsh practices in enforcing Sharia, or Islamic religious law. During his 1996–2001 rule, women could not work and were punished with stone-pelting, whipping and hanging.
The militants sought to present a more liberal face, promising to respect women’s rights and protect both foreigners and Afghans. “We are ready to hold talks with all Afghan personalities and will guarantee them the necessary security,” Naeem told Al Jazeera Mubasher TV.
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres Urged the Taliban and all other parties to exercise utmost restraint and expressed particular concern about the future of women and girls in Afghanistan.
A US official said the Pentagon authorized another 1,000 soldiers to help evacuate American citizens and Afghans who worked for them. A senior US defense official told Reuters in Washington on Sunday evening that about 500 people, mostly Americans, have been evacuated so far, and that the number will rise to 5,000 a day when all of the deployed US forces are in Kabul.
European countries, including France, Germany and the Netherlands, also said they were working to evacuate civilians as well as some Afghan workers from the country. Russia said it had no need to evacuate its embassy for the time being. Turkey said its embassy would continue operations.
Asked whether the photographs of personnel departing the United States from Vietnam in 1975 were photographs of helicopters, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told ABC News: “Let’s take a step back. This is clearly not Saigon. “
Biden has faced increasing domestic criticism after sticking to a plan launched by his Republican predecessor, Donald Trump, to end the US military mission in Afghanistan by August 31.
In a statement on Sunday, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell blamed Biden for a “shameful failure of the American leadership.”
“Terrorists and major competitors like China are seeing the embarrassment of a superpower,” McConnell said.
Naeem said the Taliban would adopt a policy of non-interference in the affairs of others instead of not interfering in Afghanistan. We do not think that foreign powers will repeat their failed experience in Afghanistan once again.