Kabul under Attack; Fate of Kabul

Faraz Ahmed
Soon after the Taliban entered the capital, they took control over it in no time, without facing any resistance from the Ashraf Ghani-led government. President Ashraf Ghani flew towards Uzbekistan, leaving the country and its citizens at the wrath and mercy of the Taliban. Taliban has taken charge, but the situation right now is anarchy and chaos. People are desperate to leave the country. Heavy traffic has blocked the roads, as everyone is rushing towards the Kabul Airport. Horrific scenes are witnessed at Hamid Karzai International Airport. According to international media, on Monday, several deaths were also reported, then after, flights were suspended for some part of the day, however, it is still not clear whether they were shot dead or crushed in a stampede as people were storming the runaway. The airport premises are under the control of the US army. According to the agreement signed between the United States of America and Taliban leadership, the latter guaranteed the safe and secure evacuation of US citizens, diplomats, embassy officials, and their staff from Afghanistan. Reports say that the US embassy has been evacuated and the American flag lowered, with diplomats relocating to the airport to aid with the evacuation. Other Western countries have also closed their missions and are flying out staff and nationals.Meanwhile, looking at the chaos on the ground, Pakistan also suspended its commercial flights to Afghanistan. According to media reports, two flights of PIA which landed on Sunday evening and had to fly on Monday morning witnessed this tense and panicked situation. The US military, busy evacuating US diplomats, blocked the runway and restrained Pakistani Flights, carrying 499 passengers, from taking off. Amidst the scenes of desperation and panic that unfolded, the control tower made an unusual announcement: They told pilots to take their own decisions. Captain Bajrani of PIA flight PK6252 took off without a moment’s delay, right behind fighter jets that took off just then. Unlike other countries, Pakistan has decided to continue its embassy to remain open. In a series of tweets, Pakistan’s ambassador to Afghanistan, Mansoor Ahmed Khan, released a statement. He said that “Pakistan would continue to extend all visas and consular services to Afghan journalists, their families as well as citizens of other countries who want to leave the country. He further added that the Pakistan embassy in Kabul was mindful of the situation in the country and would not leave them stranded in Afghanistan.” Additionally, Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid held his first conference yesterday evening at media center Kabul, wherein, invited the local and regional journalists and media representatives. While briefing, he told the media representatives that “War in Afghanistan is over and Afghans are independent now. Soon they will establish an all-inclusive government. From now on, no one will use the soil of Afghanistan as a base for attacking other countries. Taliban have pledged not to go after their rivals. we have pardoned all our opponents and also the people who have worked with past administrations.” Taliban have also declared a general amnesty for all government officials and urged them to return to work.While addressing the equally important issue of women’s rights, Zabihullah Mujahid promised that the Taliban would honor women’s rights within the norms of Islamic laws. He further said that we are committed to letting women work following the principles of Islam. On the other hand, the Imran Khan-led PTI government has faced nationwide criticism in the past few days because the government has failed to unite this nation on a single narrative and build a consensus against Taliban-led Afghanistan control. The current government had to call the joint session of both the houses on this rising issue, which will affect the country’s foreign policy. However, the Prime minister called an urgent cabinet meeting on Tuesday. In a post-cabinet press briefing, federal minister for Information, Fawad Chaudhry, said that the peaceful transfer of power in Afghanistan is a welcome sign. He further said that Pakistan was in contact with allied countries on the evolving situation in Afghanistan. The cabinet has decided not to take a unilateral decision of accepting the Taliban government, as it will be taken in consultation with other countries.Sooner or later, Pakistan has to recognize the Taliban regime in Afghanistan because Pakistan is the real aspirant of peace and serenity in the region. It can’t afford warfare engagements in the future. Moreover, the fate of Kabul will decide the fate of this region.

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