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Taliban ask US not to encourage Afghan Educated Elite to leave the country

KABUL: Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid, while talking to journalists at the Taliban’s second Presser held here on Tuesday (24th of August, 2021) has asked US not to encourage the Afghan Educated Elite (comprising doctors and engineers etc) to leave the country. 

While requesting those Afghans (who are desperately attempting to bolt) from Afghanistan, to stay in the country, Zabihullah Mujahid asked those fighters and politicians who have converged at the yet unconquered Panjshir province to come back to Kabul: “Our brothers in Panjshir, please come back to Kabul. We have shared aims and lives. Don’t be afraid. Come back and don’t fight.”

Zabihullah Mujahid,  said that he was not aware of any meeting between CIA Chief William Burns and Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar in Kabul. Nevertheless, savants at the helm of affairs, while commenting on this clandestine rendezvous, insinuated that the matter of foreign troops’ and their aides’ evacuation was pondered-over during the huddle.

It is pertinent to mention here that Burns happens to be Biden’s most skilled negotiator while Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar headed the Taliban’s Doha office. Meanwhile, since Taliban said No to the possibility of extending the deadline of 31st  of August, 2021 US has accelerated airlifting thousands of people out of Afghanistan. Taliban have warned that there would be consequences if the foreign troops fail to exit by 31st of August, 2021.

Zabihullah Mujahid, warning  that Afghan citoyens would not be allowed to go to Airport to be airlifted, made clear that the road to Kabul airport was open only for the evacuation of foreigners. He assured, since general amnesty has been announced, no revenge will be taken by Taliban nor anybody would be allowed to take reprisal actions. Taliban spokesman further stated that all the Afghan ethnic groups and communities were equal and they would jointly endeavor for the development of the country.

Earlier, it has been said that Afghan Taliban group would not announce the composition of its government until the foreign troops leave their soil completely: “It has been decided that the formation of the government and cabinet will not be announced as long as a single US soldier is present in Afghanistan,” sources informed.

Sensing that the evacuation will not be possible by 31st day of August, 2021, PM Boris Johnson is set to personally lobby US President Joe Biden in a G7 summit on Tuesday to extend US operations: “It’s important we get a unified approach through the G7 about what our approach will be, and also that we gain more clarity over over what is achievable under the current timeline we’re working to…And then, when we have had that discussion, further discussions may be had with the Taliban about what is feasible.

“But I think it’s entirely right that we do absolutely everything possible to get as many people out (as possible),” stated British PM’s  spokesman. Nevertheless, Sohail Shaheen (Member of Negotiations Team and Taliban’s Political Office Spokesman for International Media) maintained that staying beyond the agreed deadline would be extending occupation: “If the US or UK were to seek additional time to continue evacuations — the answer is No! Or there would be consequences!” 

Terming the 31st day of August, 2021 as the final withdrawal of US forces as Red Line, he held that beyond that there was no need for presence of foreign military in Afghanistan: “It’s a red line. President Biden announced that on 31 August they would withdraw all their military forces. So if they extend it that means they are extending occupation while there is no need for that…It will create mistrust between us. If they are intent on continuing the occupation it will provoke a reaction.” | YouTube Channel

M M Alam

M. M. Alam is a Pakistan-based working journalist since 1981. Karachi University faculty gold medalist Alam began his career four decades ago by writing for Dawn, Pakistan’s highest circulating English daily. He has worked for region’s leading publications, global aviation periodicals including Rotors (of USA) and vetted New York Times as permanent employee of daily Express Tribune. Alam regularly covers international aviation and defense-related events including Salon Du Bourget (France), Farnborough (United Kingdom), Dubai (UAE). Alam has reported thousands of events and interviewed hundreds of people in Pakistan, UAE, EU, UK and USA. Being Francophone Alam also coordinates with a number of French publications.