Upon arriving at the abandoned Presidential Palace, Taliban fighters declared the end of the war in Afghanistan. As the Taliban took control of the capital Kabul and the rest of the country, President Ashraf Ghani fled the country.
‘The War is Over’
On Monday, heavily armed Taliban fighters took control of the abandoned presidential palace. Then, they proceeded to declare the struggle for control of the country as over.
Mohammad Naeem, the spokesman for the Taliban's political office, talked to Al Jazeera about the group’s plans. He said that the Taliban does not wish to live in isolation. They will announce the type and form of government that they will establish as soon as the situation clears.
Also, Naeem called for peaceful international relations. “Today is a great day for the Afghan people and the mujahideen. They have witnessed the fruits of their efforts and their sacrifices for 20 years.
Thanks to God, the war is over in the country. We have reached what we were seeking, which is the freedom of our country and the independence of our people. We will not allow anyone to use our lands to target anyone, and we do not want to harm others,” he said.
Mayhem in the Airport As Many Tried to Flee The Country
With news that Kabul and the palace have fallen, many Western nations made last-minute plans to evacuate their citizens stranded in the country. Hundreds of Afghans desperate to escape the Taliban also raced to catch the last flights leaving Kabul airport.
Both the Pentagon and the US Department of State said they are presently trying to secure the international airport. The US Military is taking steps to process the safe departure of thousands of US and allied personnel from Afghanistan via civilian and military flights. US Security will grow to around 6,000 troops and will facilitate the departures.
US troops will also manage air traffic control during the time. They will also evacuate thousands of Afghan personnel who helped the US. These evacuees will receive US Special Immigrant Visas to transition their move from Afghanistan to the US.
Western Countries Call For Safe Departures
Meanwhile, around 60 countries called on the Taliban to ensure the safe departure of foreign nationals and Afghans who wish to flee the country. In a statement, the countries said that the people running Afghanistan now “bear responsibility – and accountability – for the protection of human life and property, and for the immediate restoration of security and civil order.”
The statement also added that “roads, airports, and border crossing must remain open, and calm must be maintained. The Afghan people deserve to live in safety, security, and dignity. We in the international community stand ready to assist them.”
Afghans Feel Betrayed With Ghani’s Escape
Meanwhile, Shafiq Hamdam, a former adviser to Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, slammed the President’s decision to flee the country. Speaking from Washington DC, Hamdam said that “It’s shameful. It’s embarrassing. People feel abandoned, people feel betrayed.”
“After so many years of effort and so many years of investment, he has put a black dark mark in the history of democracy in Afghanistan. He himself escaped with his team and he didn’t have a second thought about the millions of people who live in misery, who live in uncertainty, and who are now left behind, living under Taliban regime,” Hamdam added.
Watch the Sky News video reporting what would happen if the Taliban retake control of Afghanistan:
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