Taliban on brink of seizing Afghanistan as president flees | JPNN us

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all day long the helicopters went to and from the american embassy ferrying diplomatic staff including the acting ambassador to the airport dropping flares to deter taliban anti-aircraft fire if you think that sounds like saigon in 1975 you’re not alone a month ago president biden said it was highly unlikely that the taliban would overrun everything and take the country today he said nothing the british 16th air assault brigade arrived in kabul to help evacuate british citizens the ambassador has remained at the airport apparently personally processing the visas of afghan interpreters who will also be flown to the uk if they qualify at the airport thousands of desperate afghans were trying to leave those who worked for the government or international organizations are terrified taliban officials drew crowds inside the city who knows if the people are motivated by genuine enthusiasm curiosity or fear of what will happen to them if they fail to support their new rulers kabul has been conquered says the commander under the sharia your health and wealth are secure when they ruled in the 1990s the health of women and minorities including the shia hazaras was far from secure whatever they say they believe in flogging hand-cutting and the suppression of women their ideology has not changed in the morning president ashraf ghani addressed the nation saying that the afghan security forces should be responsible for people’s safety by the evening all that remained was his image he had fled to tajikistan to the derision of his deputy who was left to negotiate surrender with the taliban afghanistan the former president left afghanistan and the nation in its current state he will have to answer to god and the people of afghanistan will also make their own judgment i wish you all patience may god help you all and may these difficult days and nights soon be over people queued at the banks to withdraw their savings some because they hope to leave the country others because who knows what will happen next whether the taliban will respect the banking system or any system still survival means adapting everyone is tired of war explosions and suicide attacks now things have changed god is merciful and we hope an islamic system will be established in the country and there will be peace and stability politicians are adapting too deputy parliamentary speaker said today that he’s the new taliban police chief discussions about switching sides must have been going on behind the scenes for in months province boys threw stones and shoes at afghan troops who’d fled without offering any resistance to the taliban your cowards they shouted the americans are also keen to blame the incompetence of the afghan national army and not their own perfidy the fact is we invested the international community invested over 20 years billions of dollars in these forces three hundred thousand of them with an air force something the taliban didn’t have with the most modern uh sophisticated equipment and unfortunately uh tragically they have not been able uh to defend the country and i think that uh explains why this has moved as quickly as it’s moved tonight the taliban declared that once again afghanistan is an islamic emirate they’re the power now and western governments have abandoned afghans to their fate lindsey hillson well earlier today i spoke to farzana kochai an afghan mp who’s chosen to remain in kabul i asked her what life’s like in the city now after that then i saw that there there are some gunfire little bit far from this center of the city but in kabul and there was uh an announcement and a message that people were sharing that taliban will get to the kabul city and the people just got to their houses and now the city is like a sleep city you think that no one lives here that millions of people who are living in kabul just disappear in between minutes or hours it was so difficult time it’s so difficult yeah are you still an mp is there still a parliament uh actually i don’t know because uh the things just changed in hours so some says that president rani is not not in kabul anymore he has left it dr abdullah said that and um and the government itself i don’t know everything is left to the taliban in provinces and i don’t know if what the settlement the political settlement is like no one talks about that the taliban say nobody in kabul has anything to fear everybody will be safe people must be calm everything will be okay do you believe them i can’t believe them no one can for those who can do anything to make themselves safe and don’t take the risk of the these announcements they are actually doing that they are not taking risk no one can take risk for of life like it’s a big thing it can’t be handled when it once it comes so no one can take that risk i personally am confused here when the taliban came at first to the kandahar in tahor provinces they did something that is anti-empty everything like it’s not we can’t expect that as a human being as an afro as a muslim so we we are still facing a confusion whether this is the reality of the taliban that are now talking about or that was the reality of the taliban will you try to leave the country or will you stay and if you stay why for the time being i’m staying in the country because you know we can’t leave the country all of us like this country need us and this is our country and we need to be in our country in order to live a good life so for sure we have everyone has got feeling for the country especially when it’s it needs you and so you can’t escape that easily i will be here until i can do something as a as a as an avron to my country to my people and we hope that yourself and your family and friends will remain safe thank you indeed thank you farzana kochai speaking to me a little earlier but i’ve also been speaking to the afghan journalist bilal sawari who’s also in the afghan capital and i asked him whether he thought the taliban this time around might be different well we will have to see you know how the taliban conduct themselves they definitely say their political leadership that they’re different that they’re offering an ethnicity and that things will be different this time around the taliban political leadership knows that they’re fighters and commanders who are hot-headed hot-blooded more rigid more extremist you know could do things on the ground differently as we have seen across the country from brutality to harsh sentences to the idea that they have in their minds that they can win everything militarily which is actually you know what has happened they have got all of afghanistan now so we’ll have to see how the taliban emerge from that transition of fighting and then governing right talks tomorrow we are told in doha um between what remains of the government if we can call it that and the taliban what on earth do the taliban have to talk about they’ve got everything they want haven’t they i think it’s about political settlement it’s about power sharing deal this must have been the work of the americans in the background because the taliban would know that if they want international legitimacy if they want future funding that’s how it has to be this would be the position of taliban if they thought logically and what i’m saying let’s wait and see but you know for now at least the people here in this city in this country of clarity both from the taliban in the afghan government confirming that president has been sidelined that there would be a transitional government which will focus on a ceasefire which will focus on a road ahead for political settlement as we know isis in afghanistan his islamia are in afghanistan the haqqani organization are in afghanistan all these organizations terror organizations are at large there’s the old warlords faction but in hekmatyar the list goes on the taliban has very small control over these groups does it not the taliban are now in total control of the country almost they are also in control of ample amounts of weapons ammunitions aircraft helicopters airports you know how they lead from here is is a million dollar question meantime two countries that we don’t talk about enough but we should in this pakistan who made the taliban huge influence now in afghanistan and china of course who took no part in the invasion the markets wide open for china well the regional dynamics have to be addressed here afghanistan‘s neighbors you know have to play their own role in a future in this country that is about prosperity that’s about trade because afghanistan can serve as a land bridge between you know central asia and south asia and there are a lot of opportunities but we have to really wait and see what we are looking at you know what type of international commitment there is well funding stop you know while the taliban for example allow girls education these are all questions that i simply uh you know would like to see the taliban answer them practically rather than i can speculate about it but there are fears genuine fears and concerns about the taliban this is a group that was fighting for 20 years so they are still a mystery in some ways to the people abila thanks very much indeed for your time thank you bilal suarez speaking to us earlier while following an emergency meeting of the government’s cobra committee the prime minister said he would prioritize getting british nationals out but also do what he could now to help the afghan people it’s clear that there is going to be or there is very going to be very shortly a a new government in kabul or a new uh political dispensation however you want to to put it and i think it’s very important that the west collectively should work together to get over to that new government be it by the taliban or anybody else that nobody wants afghanistan once again to be a a breeding ground for terror of course we continue to attach huge importance to to human rights to equalities uh think of everything that the uk has helped to achieve the over the last 20 years the the sacrifice of that mission you know a lot of women and girls were educated thanks the efforts of the of the uk rights human rights equalities were promoted and protected in a way that afghanistan hadn’t hadn’t seen before of course we don’t want to see that thrown away so operation enduring freedom the americans called it bombing the taliban from power after the 9 11 attacks 20 years ago freedom there assuredly was for many afghans but security and genuine government control there was not the long erosion of freedom then turbocharged to destruction the moment america signaled the date for military exit appearances can deceive the taliban have not overthrown the secure government of a country they’ve gradually eroded the kabul administration year by year which has controlled less and less of its territory there has not been peace or stability grown and nurtured over the border in pakistan it was that country which allowed the taliban phenomenon to sweep to power before being ousted 20 years ago and pakistan which has allowed the talibs to regroup and return the moment americans set a date to pull out their troops the taliban’s 20-year war was won denying afghan troops air support removed the fundamental of all the training america had lavished upon them that along with the taliban strategy of paying government forces to surrender and go home unscathed sealed the fate of the government the west has propped up for two decades twenty years ago usb 52 bombers carpet bombed the taliban out of the country the mission to remove al qaeda after the september the 11th attacks celebrations on the streets of kabul thanks to our military and our allies and the brave fighters of afghanistan the taliban regime is coming to an end [Applause] elections would follow karzai would be president a new parliament women free not just to work to vote but to be mps none of that remotely possible during the taliban years of absolute male dominance women abolished in public life but then began the unceasing attacks across the country from the taliban who were down but never out america finally simply could not would not sustain the operation for many of you this will be your last tour in afghanistan [Applause] and by the end of this year the transition will be complete and afghans will take full responsibility for their security and our combat mission will be over america’s war in afghanistan will come to a responsible end there was no responsible end of course so two great strands of afghan opinion now one we hear in the west educated english speaking urban afghans lamenting the loss of human rights from the relatively secure cities if the taliban come again we almost never hear from rural afghans though who will tell you the taliban rooted out so much corruption and brought the stability the west never could perhaps it boils to one main question now and only one group can answer it the taliban what kind of taliban ii will it be what strategic lessons have they learned be it human rights or allowing their country to be a base for those who wish to attack the west the taliban always said they’ve got no problem with any foreign country their fatal error though last time around was to foster those who do have they changed so what strategy can the international community now grasp from the wreckage of comprehensive defeat i’ve been speaking to the former head of the british army lord richard dannett and hosland jalil who was an interior minister in the afghan government i asked her if there are any strategic choices now left um i can’t say it’s too late for the uh i would say for the big decision makers of war all over the world i can’t say it’s too late for them even now to save afghanistan and the rest of the world even now uh they have even now because they have i would say with i i share the responsibility and i personally hold myself and my government accountable for the miseries we go through but i share it equally with the rest of the world with our international allies what i would say is that right now that we have handed over everything to the taliban we are on the way to promote a terrorist group to a terrorist state we are handing over a nation to a terrorist group which is going to be their strength but at the same time that terrorist group is not going to be a normal terrorist state they do have access to modern western made equipments women ammunitions but at the same time they’re going to have an air force they have access to an aircraft because you raise you raise a huge issue there um that’s the point isn’t there a judge i mean the west went into afghanistan 20 odd years ago to get rid of al qaeda essentially it wasn’t originally nation building here we are again and as hosnicellill says we are about to see in her words a terrorist government yes i think that is the stark reality of where we were we’re having to live with the consequence of bad choices in the last 20 years good choice going to afghanistan 2001 sweep out the taliban sweep out al-qaeda correct but then being misguided enough to go into iraq in 2003 not to involve ourselves in nation building in afghanistan 2003-456 that was a strategic area of biblical proportions now that said over the last five ten fifteen years we’ve patiently built up the afghan state their government their economic capability and significantly their security forces but once president biden decided that he was going to leave by the date of 9 11 20 years on that sent a terrible message to the people of afghanistan we didn’t have terribly many u.s and international troops in afghanistan the last four or five years but what they were doing was providing technical and moral support to the afghan national security forces and they were doing a good job containing the taliban as soon as the americans the british decided to leave and the others decided to leave the technical capability was reduced the morale of the afghan national forces has gone down and we’re living with the consequences no strategic choices now just an operational reality and a tactical embarrassment okay tactical embarrassment no strategic choices but let me clutch at one possible straw of of hope perhaps in this um the taliban need international recognition and the taliban government will need money that’s about all we’ve got to negotiate with is there any way we could the world can extract some kind of more reasonable taliban government in exchange for that recognition is there a chance the strategic choice we can have is this political pressure we can put on taliban at the same time on its allies on its supporting states and i have to be brutally honest here we need to pressurize taliban here and they can play a wonderful group do you see any chance any shiv sliver of hope there that there is something we can get leverage with there i think the problem the taliban would have got if has looked pretty likely they would have taken complete control of afghanistan is where do they go for support in the future okay the last 24 hours they’ve taken control of jalalabad so that’s opened up the way to pakistan the islamic state of pakistan an islamist state quite clearly in afghanistan so maybe they’ve now got a good ally in pakistan but is that enough because pakistan is not everyone’s favored country then you look the other way you look to iran i don’t think there are many common bedfellows between the iranian shia regime in iran and what will likely to be in kabul sure the key issue for afghanistan after centuries let’s face it of instability is security there are many afghans uh hosni julius you know well who say look we might not like the taliban we’re not like what they do but they brought security and they cut down the appalling corruption which is corroding this country there’s a degree of truth in that with the taliban the corruption is exactly the same case like we have with the narcotics issue taliban claims that there has been neural narcotics cultivation and and transportation and smuggling during the taliban regime and now it has rise during the republic um government but the thing is that the state the whole state had monopolized that business now no one could figure that out there was no freedom of speech there was no media there was literally nothing to figure that out what’s really happening inside that state their corruption business is it has been the same like um i would say the um they did their narcotics business but at the same time there’s one more thing that when we are talking about a well-established bigger state which serves i mean the public on a i would say on a larger scale that is more vulnerable to corruption compared to i would say a very small regime we also need to compare that with the vulnerabilities i don’t ignore that we didn’t have corruption we did have it as a immature state of 20 years old of course but at the same time we did have i would say corrupt officials right but i can’t say that’s comparable to taliban not at all okay finally you you i want to return to the point you made at the beginning of this discussion you are totally convinced you cannot separate the taliban from international terrorist groups and that therefore what is happening now is take you straight back to 2001 in terms of world security right at least i’ve had two rounds of taliban in in just my 20s and it’s just my 20s right so what i would say is that for afghanistan um we bear most of the costs and we hold ourselves more responsible for what’s happening in afghanistan um well we might have in the future we might have another version of emirates it might be a little bit different than their previous version but uh i would say more brutal than what it was how’s that richard thank you both very much indeed for your perspectives thank you so much for having me thank you indeed

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