Taliban attack: After the Taliban took complete control over Afghanistan and a total chaos at the Kabul airport Monday, a Taliban official has announced a general “amnesty” for all in the country and urged women to join its government.
Enamullah Samangani, a member of the Islamic Emirate’s cultural commission, made the comments Tuesday on Afghan state television, which the militants now control.
“The Islamic Emirate doesn’t want women to be victims,” he said, using the militants’ term for Afghanistan. He added, “The structure of the government is not fully clear, but based on experience, there should be a fully Islamic leadership and all sides should join.”
The Taliban enforced their rule over the capital of 5 million people after a lightning advance across the country that took just over a week to dethrone the country’s Western-backed government. There were no major reports of abuses or fighting, but many residents stayed home and remained fearful after the insurgents’ takeover saw prisons emptied and armories looted.
A resolute US President Joe Biden later said he stood “squarely behind” his decision to withdraw American forces and acknowledged the “gut-wrenching” images unfolding in Kabul. Biden said he faced a choice between honoring a previously negotiated withdrawal agreement or sending thousands of more troops back to begin the third decade of war.
“After 20 years, I’ve learned the hard way that there was never a good time to withdraw US forces,” Biden said in a televised address from the White House.
Stefano Pontecorvo, NATO’s senior civilian representative to Afghanistan, posted a video online Tuesday showing the runway empty with American troops on the tarmac. What appeared to be a military cargo plane could be seen in the distance from behind a chain-link fence in the footage. The runway “is open,” he wrote on Twitter.
Overnight, flight-tracking data showed a US Marine Corps KC-130J Hercules plane at the airport and later taking off for Qatar, home to Al-Udeid Air Base and the US military Central Command’s forward headquarters. There were no other immediate flights seen in the Afghan airspace, which has been taken over by the American military as commercial flights have been halted in the country.
“The world is following events in Afghanistan with a heavy heart and deep disquiet about what lies ahead,” United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said. Talks appeared to be continuing between the Taliban and several Afghan government officials, including former President Hamid Karzai and Abdullah Abdullah, who once headed the country’s negotiating council. President Ashraf Ghani earlier fled the country amid the Taliban advance and his whereabouts remain unknown.
-PTC News with inputs from ANI