Despite repeated optimism of the Biden-Harris administration stating Taliban jihadists have abandoned the previous culture of cruelties, there are harrowing reports of civilian executions and restrictions on women’s rights in the country. Meanwhile, amid frantic evacuation race and hundreds and thousands of Afghans desperately trying to leave the country, Taliban jihadists have started obstructing people from fleeing.
According to Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, “Many people now fear reprisals by the Taliban against those working with the government or the international community; people who have worked to advance human rights and justice; or those whose lifestyles and opinions are simply perceived to be opposed to the Taliban ideology”.
The UN official said, Taliban jihadists are obstructing girls from attending schools, recruiting children as soldiers of jihad and continuing numerous forms of repression on peaceful protests.
These reports of violence lie in stark contrast to Taliban assurances to international media since seizing the capital.
Meanwhile, according to CNN, the Taliban said that they were “not allowing the evacuation of Afghans anymore” and warned that the US must stick to August 31, 2021 deadline to pull out, as a frantic Western evacuation operation at Kabul airport picked up pace.
The announcement came as US President Joe Biden made clear he aims to stick with his August 31 deadline to withdraw troops from Afghanistan – as long as the Taliban does not disrupt ongoing evacuation operations or airport access. Top American allies have already called for an extension in order to fly more people out.
Commenting on Biden’s commitment of evacuating Americans and their allies in Afghanistan by August 31 deadline, experts said, such announcement of Biden-Harris administration is “unrealistic” and “dangerous”, as after the deadline, hundreds and thousands of American allies in Afghanistan would fall victims of Taliban cruelties, while the US may not even succeed in evacuating every American citizen from that country.
According to media reports, Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid told a press conference that while foreign nationals could continue traveling to the airport, the huge crowds of Afghans that have gathered there in recent days should return home and would not face reprisals from the country’s new rulers.
“The road, which goes to the airport, is blocked. Afghans cannot take that road to go to the airport, but foreign nationals are allowed to take that road to the airport”, Mujahid said.
“We are not allowing the evacuation of Afghans anymore and we are not happy with it either”, he added.
The doctors and academics of Afghanistan “should not leave this country, they should work in their own specialist areas”, Mujahid added. “They should not go to other countries, to those Western countries”.
But Biden’s press secretary Jen Psaki is once again trying to hide the truth, as she does in most of the cases, particularly on cases of disastrous failures of the Biden-Harris administration. Asked about the statement from the Taliban about obstructing the Afghan nationals from leaving the country, Psaki said that should not impact Afghans who were prioritized by the US to leave the country. “No. That is not how you should read it. Our expectation, which we have also conveyed to the Taliban, is that they should be able to get to the airport”.
Here again, Jen Psaki is trying to hide the fact that after August 31, 2021, none of the Afghans and even American citizen will be allowed by the Taliban to leave the country as after this deadline, which Joe Biden and his administration have set. Post-August 31 scenario in Afghanistan is going to be totally different as the Taliban will impose full restriction on anyone from leaving the country, while they also will hold hundreds and thousands of Afghan allies of the US and may be several Americans as hostage, who would be used by the Taliban as pawns in getting recognition and other forms of benefits. In plain words, after August 31, Taliban leaders will start blackmailing the US and the western governments by holding Afghans and American citizen captive, almost like prisoners of war. Let me remind everyone here, Taliban leaders are considering the withdrawal of US and foreign troops from the country as “victory” and a begin of Islamist conquest.
CNN report said, many of those fleeing the country since the Taliban took over have been educated people, especially women. The last time the Taliban ruled, women were banned from working and forbidden to attend schools and universities.
While Taliban leaders gave reassurances that foreign embassies and aid agencies would remain open.
But experts remain dubious of such pledges amid reports of human rights abuses and concerns that the situation will deteriorate further once most of the international community leaves the country.
G7 leaders have called on the Taliban to guarantee safe passage for all those wishing to leave Afghanistan after August 31, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said, describing this as the G7’s “number one condition” for the Taliban.
“The number one condition we are setting as G7 is that they’ve got to guarantee right the way through – through August 31 and beyond — safe passage for those who want to come out”, Johnson said after the virtual meeting of G7 leaders.
But Joe Biden seems not understanding the density of trouble Afghan allies of the US and the American citizen in Afghanistan would face after his August 31 deadline. Instead, he has already requested contingency plans in case the US withdrawal deadline slips – though operations are running on schedule for now. Staying on schedule will require the Taliban’s cooperation, which Biden is yet to realize.
During a press conference, Joe Biden said, “the sooner we can finish the better. Each day of the operations brings added risk to our troops, but the completion by August 31 depends upon the Taliban continuing to cooperate and allow access to the airport for those we’re transporting out, and no disruptions to our operations”.
It may be mentioned here that, Joe Biden had faced growing pressure from top US allies, including the UK and France to extend the dealine.
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said that additional time beyond the August 31 deadline is necessary for evacuations.
An Elysee spokesperson added that the length of France’s military evacuation operation depends entirely on when the United States decides to pull its soldiers out of Kabul’s airport.
“We are in the hands of the United States. What we are telling the Americans is naturally to give us the maximum time to pursue the operations”.
Here again, Jen Psaki said that if August 31 holds as the date of US withdrawal from Afghanistan, evacuations will need to end even earlier to leave time to withdraw troops and machinery. She fails to realize, the decision will be met with dismay by allies who fear there won’t be enough time to get their citizens, along with Afghans who assisted in the war effort, out of the country by the end of the month.
Quoting a diplomat familiar with the Afghan matter, CNN said, despite the pressure on Joe Biden, NATI will also pull its footprint from Afghanistan when the US withdraws.
The diplomat told CNN, people on the ground in Kabul were not pleased by Biden’s decision to stick to the deadline, saying there is “an evident disconnect between the reality and the politics”.
There are currently 5,800 troops on the ground as well as their equipment and weapons.
The US evacuated a record 12,700 people from Kabul airport, according to a White House official, and another 8,900 people were evacuated by 57 coalition flights. The US has now evacuated some 58,700 people from Afghanistan since August 14.
Meanwhile it emerged that CIA Director William J. Burns had met face-to-face with a top Taliban leader in Kabul, in what one US official described as “an exchange of views on what needs to happen to be done” by August 31.
According to experts of Afghan affairs, situation in Afghanistan will turn volatile immediately after the August 31, deadline, where President Joe Biden will particularly feel totally helpless and confused. This may even lead to countrywide protests in the US, which would ultimately lead the Biden-Harris administration towards severe catastrophe.
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