by International Desk:
The Taliban has regained control of Afghanistan two decades after the US forces began a military offensive called Operation Enduring Freedom against the radical Islamist group.
Tens of thousands of people intended to flee the war-torn country of rugged mountain as the Taliban conquered the capital, Kabul, without any resistance as President Ashraf Ghani left the country.
Chaos broke out at the Hamid Karzai International Airport as the native Afghans thronged to the runway to leave the country along with foreigners, especially the US nationals. A US plane was grounded after people cling to it and blocked the runway.
But the Taliban insisted that there would not be any danger for those trying to flee. A spokesman of the radical group said in an interview with CNN that they were committed to normalize the situation.
“All the people they lead their normal life. The schools are open, the offices are open, and the businessmen do their trade and business. SO this is our practical example” the spokesman Suhail Shaheen was quoted as saying by the CNN.
There is no reason for being terrified, he added.
The United States linked the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks to al Qaeda, a group that operated under the Taliban regime’s protection in Afghanistan. The operation was launched to stop the Taliban from providing a safe haven to al Qaeda and to stop al Qaeda’s use of Afghanistan as a base of operations for terrorist activities, according to the broadcaster.
The operation was begun on October 7, 2001, under President George W. Bush’s administration, with allied air strikes on Taliban and al Qaeda targets.
And after 20 years, the US nationals are leaving the ground in an apparent defeat by a hardline Islamist group, which was much discussed for its acts of terrorism in many parts of the world.
Meanwhile, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said he was confident that the US could move “thousands” of people out of the Afghan capital once the US had regained control of the airport.
“Capacity is not going to be a problem,” he said at the press conference.
Kirby acknowledged he was concerned by how quickly the Taliban had moved, but said “no outcome has to be inevitable” in Afghanistan.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres while addressing the UN Security Council called upon the Taliban to exercise restraint in order to protect lives.
He said he had heard “chilling reports of severe restrictions on human rights throughout the country”.
“I am particularly concerned by accounts of mounting human rights violations against the women and girls of Afghanistan,” he says adding that the world must not abandon the people of the country.
He called on the council to use “all tools at its disposal” to suppress the global terrorist threat in Afghanistan and ensure human rights are protected, and said all countries should be willing to take in Afghan refugees, according to BBC.