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“Not our responsibility”: Taliban on chaos at Kabul airport

The Taliban in a scathing attack on US and other foreign forces also mocked the way they are handling the evacuation crisis

Sunday August 22, 2021 3:57 PM, ummid.com with inputs from agencies

Kabul Airport

Kabul: Taliban on Saturday said they can’t be blamed for the chaotic scene or security threat if any at the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul.

The Taliban in a scathing attack on US and other foreign forces also mocked the way they are handling the evacuation crisis.

"Not our responsibility"

Hamid Karzai International Airport, which is under the control of US and other foreign forces as part of a deal, is swarmed by thousands of people trying to flee Afghanistan after Taliban takeover of the country.

“The West could have had a better plan to evacuate,” a Taliban spokesman said asserting that the chaos was not their responsibility.

“Security risks could not be ruled out but the group (at their end) was aiming to improve the situation and provide a smooth exit for people trying to leave”, the Taliban spokesman added.

Taliban have again and again appealed people not to leave the country, assuring them of all help, security and safety. Despite this, thousands of people have stormed the airport, making it tough for the US and foreign forces to manage the evacuation.

Images circulated on social media this week of Afghans rushing toward a US C-17 transport plane and clinging to its side. A separate video showed what appeared to be two people falling from a military plane as it flew out of Kabul. It later became known that one of those died was Zaki Anwari – Afghan footballer.

"IAF plane with 168 on-board arrives in India"

Amidst the chaotic scene at Kabul airport, an Indian Air Force (IAF) transport aircraft arrived at Hindan air base here with 168 passengers - including some eminent Afghan leaders from Hindu and Sikh communities, on Sunday morning, the officials said.

The IAF aircraft was waiting for the clearance at the Kabul airport due to the huge rush as many countries have sent their military planes to evacuate their citizens.

"The US authorities have taken full control of the airport and they are managing the air operation from the war torn country. In this huge rush, charting out a slot for an aircraft and also a safe air route for the evacuation flight, have become major challenges for US authority," an official explained who was privy to these developments.

"Blame Game"

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said it was “mathematically impossible” for the US and its allies to evacuate the tens of thousands of Afghan personnel and families by Aug. 31, when US forces are due to quit Afghanistan and hand control of the airport to the Taliban.

Afghanistan Government Formation

[Taliban leaders in a meeting with former president Hamid Karzai and Chairman of High Council for National Reconciliation Abdullah Abdullah in Kabul.]

Borrell said his officials had complained to the Americans that their security at the airport was excessively strict, and was hampering attempts by Afghans who worked for the Europeans to enter.

British forces at the airport also complained that while their officers were empowered to make decisions on the ground, the Americans passed every issue up the chain of command and waited for a decision, which was causing paralysis.

"Afghanistan Government Formation"

Meanwhile, Taliban co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar Saturday arrived in Kabul for talks with other leaders to hammer out a new government in Afghanistan after the Taliban’s lightning advance across the country, according to AFP.

Mullah Baradar, the face of Taliban during the negotiation with the United States for its withdrawal from Afghanistan, was in Doha, Qatar. He arrived in Kandahar on Tuesday August 17.

"New Model of Government"

The Taliban have said they want this iteration of their government to be "inclusive", but have given few details of who it would include.

Taliban officials said they planned to ready a new model for governing Afghanistan within the next few weeks, with separate teams to tackle internal security and financial issues.

Afghan officials familiar with the talks held in Kabul said the Taliban have said it will not make announcements on the government until the August 31 deadline for the foreign troop withdrawal passes, according to Al Jazeera.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia has called a special meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in Riyadh on Sunday to discuss events in Afghanistan.

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