THE Taliban on Monday warned that there would be ‘consequences’ if the United States and its allies try to remain in Afghanistan beyond the deadline of 31 August.
Spokesperson Suhail Shaheen said in an interview that any foreign military presence beyond the agreed deadline would mean ‘extending occupation’ and that there would be consequences.
There are, of course, evacuation issues as thousands of people are making frantic efforts to leave the troubled country in the given uncertain situation.
According to reports, Biden and his Group of Seven countries – several of whom are pushing him to leave soldiers at the airport to keep it open – are having second thoughts about completion of the withdrawal process on the pretext of safe evacuation but apprehensions and warnings of the Taliban are also not unfounded.
If the United States and its allies are really concerned about the safety of their loyalists they had plenty of time to issue visas and airlift them to Western countries but they didn’t do that and now use the issue as an excuse for extension in withdrawal period.
Thousands of troops have already poured back into the country on this pretext but their presence could also pose serious security threats for the entire leadership of the Taliban that is now mostly concentrated in the capital Kabul.
It is, perhaps, because of this reason that the Taliban are adamant not to announce the new set-up till departure of the last foreign soldier from the country.
The United States and its allies used all tactics at their disposal to bring about a change in Afghanistan during their 20 year occupation of Afghanistan but miserably failed and, therefore, there is hardly any logic to extend the withdrawal deadline for whatever reasons.
As for security and orderly evacuation of those Afghan citizens who want to proceed abroad, an undertaking can be sought from the Taliban not to hinder the process and the possibility of rapid deployment of UN peacekeepers at the airport can also be explored.
In fact, some powers are desperately trying to stoke violence in Afghanistan as peaceful intentions and conduct of the Taliban have frustrated their previous plans of triggering a civil war in the country.
Their intentions stand exposed from the remarks made by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Traudeau who did not rule out the possibility of sanctions against the Taliban despite the fact so far they did nothing to warrant such actions.
It is time that rather than blaming the Taliban, these countries should demonstrate their peace credentials by shunning provocative activities and extending genuine cooperation for restoration of peace and security in Afghanistan.