Afghanistan crisis live updates: IAF aircraft carrying Indian officials lands in Gujarat’s Jamnagar

WASHINGTON/NEW DELHI/KABUL: IAF aircraft carrying Indian officials has landed in Gujarat’s Jamnagar. Earlier, MEA Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi  said that keeping the Afghanistan situation in mind, our Ambassador in Kabul and his Indian staff will move to India immediately. An Indian Air Force C-17 aircraft has taken off from Kabul earlier in the day with more than 120 Indian officials in it.

Afghanistan citizens are blaming Pakistan for the country’s current situation as it gave shelter to the Taliban when its citizens were fighting the terrorist group, said Fabien Baussart, the President of Center of Political and Foreign Affairs.

Meanwhile, US President Joe biden, amid mounting criticism of his decision to withdraw US troops from Afghanistan, took a defiant stance and said “American troops cannot and should not be fighting in a war and dying in a war that Afghan forces are not willing to fight for themselves.”

As Taliban took over Kabul and horrible images of desperate Afghans trying to flee the country came to fore, many criticised the United States for leaving Afghanistan in a mess. But Biden said “the developments of the past week reinforced that ending US. military involvement in Afghanistan now was the right decision.” He added, “It is wrong to order American troops to step up when Afghanistan’s own armed forces would not.  If the political leaders of Afghanistan were unable to come together for the good of their people, unable to negotiate for the future of their country when the chips were down, they would never have done so while U.S. troops remained in Afghanistan bearing the brunt of the fighting for them.”

On Monday (August 16), the Ministry of External Affairs of India has said that the doors are open for the Sikh and Hindu minorities of Pakistan. “We are in constant touch with the representatives of Afghan Sikh and Hindu communities. We will facilitate repatriation to India of those who wish to leave Afghanistan,” foreign ministry spokesman Arindam Bagchi said in a statement.

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan has compared the Taliban control of Kabul with breaking the ‘shackles of slavery’. He was speaking at an event about English as a medium of education. He said, “You take over the other culture and become psychologically subservient. When that happens, please remember, it is worse than actual slavery. It is harder to throw off the chains of cultural enslavement. What is happening in Afghanistan now, they have broken the shackles of slavery”.

On the other hand, the Russian embassy in Kabul said that the Afghan president Ashraf Ghani fled the country with vehicles full of cash. There was so much that he had to leave money behind as it wouldn’t fit in his plane.

After the take over of Kabul, China on Monday said that it is willing to develop ‘friendly relations’ with Afghanistan’s new incoming Taliban regime, said reports. Whereas Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government is planning to deploy soldiers to Afghanistan to help with the evacuation of German nationals and Afghans in danger from the Taliban, according to international media reports, quoting parliamentary sources.

At least five people have been killed in Kabul International Airport as hundreds of people tried to forcibly enter planes leaving Kabul, news agency Reuters reported on Monday, quoting witnesses.

Fearing a return of the brutal Taliban rule of the past, thousands of Afghan nationals, including men, have been trying to flee the war-ravaged country after the fall of kabul and other provincial capitals of afghanistan .Those who have lived in areas controlled by the Islamic militants in recent years are watching with growing fear as the insurgents have overrun most of the country while international forces withdraw.

Government offices, shops and schools are still shuttered in areas recently captured by the Taliban, with many residents either lying low or fleeing to the capital, Kabul. Meanwhile, New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern implored Taliban leaders to uphold human rights in Afghanistan by allowing women to continue in work and education and to let foreigners and Afghans who want to leave the country go.

The United Nations Secretary-General has said that its ‘deeply concerned’ about the currentv situation and has urged the Taliban to exercise utmost restraint. Antonio Guterres stated that the UN remains determined to contribute to a peaceful settlement and promote the human rights of all Afghans.