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Taliban entered Kabul as US Starts Evacuating Embassy in Afghanistan

Taliban fighters sit on a vehicle along the street in Jalalabad on Sunday. — AP

Taliban terrorists entered Afghanistan’s capital Kabul on Sunday as the United States evacuated diplomats from its embassy by helicopter and a government minister said power would be handed over to an interim administration.

Taliban entered Kabul on Sunday and sought the unconditional surrender of the central government, officials said, as Afghans and foreigners alike raced for the exit, signaling the end of a 20-year Western experiment aimed at remaking Afghanistan.

The negotiators on the government side included former President Hamid Karzai and Abdullah Abdullah, the head of the Afghan National Reconciliation Council, an official said. Abdullah has long been a vocal critic of President Ashraf Ghani, who has refused to give up power to get a deal with the Taliban.

There was no immediate word on the situation from President Ashraf Ghani. A palace official said he was in emergency talks with U.S. peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad and top NATO officials.

U.S. officials said diplomats were being ferried by helicopters to the airport from its embassy in the fortified Wazir Akbar Khan district. More American troops were being sent to help in the evacuations after the Taliban’s surge brought the terrorist group to Kabul in a matter of days.

“We have a small batch of people leaving now as we speak, a majority of the staff are ready to leave,” a U.S. official told Reuters on Sunday. “The embassy continues to function.”

Pakistan said it was "closely following the unfolding situation" in Afghanistan, and would continue to support the efforts for a political settlement.

"We hope all Afghan sides will work together to resolve this internal political crisis," the Foreign Office said in a statement.

It said the Pakistan embassy in Kabul was "extending necessary assistance" to Pakistanis, Afghans, and the diplomatic and international community for consular work and coordination of PIA flights.

A special inter-ministerial cell has been established in the Ministry of Interior to facilitate visa/arrival matters for diplomatic personnel, UN agencies, international organizations, media, and others, it added.

15 August 2021


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