September 20, 2021

The World Live Breaking News Coverage & Updates IN ENGLISH

The World Live Breaking News Coverage & Updates IN ENGLISH

After US troops leave, focus on how Taliban will face challenges ahead

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After US troops leave, focus on how Taliban will face challenges ahead
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After US troops leave, focus on how Taliban will face challenges ahead
After US troops leave, focus on how Taliban will face challenges ahead

ISLAMABAD: The Taliban cheerfully started discharging their weapons in the air across Kabul as the final few American soldiers were about to leave the city’s airport, celebrating the Unites States’ exit as the defeat of a superpower that had spent over $2 trillion fighting a war for 20 years.
In 2001, the American-led Western forces had come to Afghanistan to oust the then Taliban government and to hunt down Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden, his comrades and fighters, who they accused of suicide attacks against targets in the US.
“Tonight 12:00 pm (Afghanistan time) the last American soldier left Afghanistan. Our country gained full independence. Praise be to Allah. Heart-felt congratulations to all countrymen!” Suhail Shaheen, the Doha-based Taliban spokesperson, posted on Twitter.
Speaking to reporters at Kabul airport on Tuesday, Zabihullah Mujahid, the Kabul-based Taliban spokesman, said: “We do not have any doubt that the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan is a free and sovereign nation. This victory belongs to us all. America is defeated and, on behalf of my nation, we want to have good relations with the US and the rest of the world. We welcome good diplomatic relations with them all,” he said. “Taliban’s victory is a lesson for other invaders,” Mujahid said.
With the US withdrawl complete, the focus will now shift to how the Taliban, with sole authority, address Afghanistan’s multiple challenges, including whether they will allow other foreigners and Afghans to leave the country. Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai, the group’s deputy chief negotiator, said that those with passports and visas can go abroad “in a dignified manner and with peace of mind” when commercial flights begin.
The Taliban say they want to keep the civilian airport open, but without logistical support and security guarantees it appears commercial airlines will not fly into the country.
Much of the basic infrastructure at Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport has been described as damaged. According to Taliban and US officials, it will take a long time to put the airport back in order. Videos shared on social media showed passenger halls in disarray, broken doors, windows and ATM machines. A pilot has been reported as saying that the terminal building was trashed by passengers during the chaos of the early days of the Taliban takeover.
Knowing the importance of a safe and functional airport, the group has approached Ankara and Doha to make Kabul airport operational again so that Afghanistan can stay in contact with the world. The Taliban have asked Turkey to handle logistics while they ensure security, but Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has not yet accepted the offer.
“The Taliban have made a request regarding the operation of Kabul airport. They say, ‘We’ll ensure security and you can operate it’. But we have not made a decision yet because there is always a possibility of death and such things there,” Erdogan had recently stated.
Many Afghans are terrified of a repeat of the Taliban’s 1996-2001 regime, which was infamous for its harsh treatment of women and a brutal justice system. The Taliban, however, have repeatedly promised a more tolerant and open brand of rule compared to their first stint in power.
Clashes between NRF and Taliban in Panjshir
Taliban forces clashed with National Resistance Force (NRF) fighters in Panjshir, a narrow valley of strategic importance in the country’s north.
Fahim Dashti, a spokesman for the NRF, a group loyal to local leader Ahmad Massoud, son of slain Afghan warlord Ahmad Shah Massoud, said the fighting occurred at the western entrance to the valley where the Taliban had attacked NRF positions. The attack, Dashti said, was repulsed, with eight Taliban killed and several wounded, while two NRF members were injured.
“Last night, the Taliban attacked Panjshir, but were defeated with seven dead and several wounded,” Bismillah Mohammadi, a member of the resistance movement who had served as defence minister under exiled president Ashraf Ghani, said in a tweet. “They retreated with heavy casualties.”
The NRF’s claims, however, could not be independently verified.

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