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Friday, July 19, 2024

Taliban pledge accountability, strive to present a moderate face 

Taliban official, this Saturday pledged accountability for its actions and claimed that the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan will have a moderate face. Meanwhile, US president Joe Biden faces criticism at home and in the international community over mismanaged evacuation plans and troops' withdrawal.

Taliban official, this Saturday pledged accountability for its actions and claimed that the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan will have a moderate face. Meanwhile, US president Joe Biden faces criticism at home and in the international community over mismanaged evacuation plans and troops’ withdrawal.

taliban media briefing

The Taliban official who chose to remain anonymous told Reuters on Saturday that the Taliban pledge accountability for their actions and will investigate reports of atrocities and reprisals conducted by members. Also, the official underscored that the new regime under the Taliban will offer a roadmap of a new model of governing Afghanistan in the coming weeks.

Taliban’s harsh retaliation against protestors

This statement by the Taliban official came in the wake of the group’s unprecedented capture of Kabul last week. The group made inroads to the capital without firing a shot signaling a peaceful transition of power. However, reports by international aid and advocacy groups and former government officials criticized the Taliban for their harsh retaliation against the protestors.

“We have heard of some cases of atrocities and crimes against civilians,” the official said. “If Taliban (members) are doing these law and order problems, they will be investigated.”

He added, “We can understand the panic, stress, and anxiety. People think we will not be accountable, but that will not be the case.”

Read more: UN urges a wider international humanitarian response over Afghan evacuations

Taliban return taken with a grain of salt

Although the group pledged to govern the country with a reasonable and moderate stance, their brutal rule from 1996-2001 remains etched in Afghan history. Fears among people highlight that their return might bring their strict implementation of Islamic Sharia law and allow terrorist outfits to flex muscles on the Afghan soil.

Former officials told disturbing tales of hiding from the Taliban in recent days as gunmen went from door to door. One family of 16 described running to the bathroom, lights off and children’s mouths covered, as they feared for their lives.

Read more: Comprehending a bleak picture of Afghanistan

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan to safeguard basic rights

The official highlighted that the new framework for governing the country would not be a democracy by Western definition. However, as promised to the global community, “It will protect everyone’s rights, including women” the official added.

“Legal, religious, and foreign policy experts in the Taliban aim to present the new governing framework in the next few weeks,” he said.

Read more: Afghans facing intense food insecurity: WFP

US evacuation strategy remains questionable 

Commenting on the chaos at the Kabul Airport as people thronged in desperation to flee the country, he said that it was not the Taliban’s. In fact, “the West could have had a better plan to evacuate.”

Gun-toting Taliban members around the airport have pressed those without travel documents to go home. Around 12 people have been killed in and around the airport since Sunday, NATO and Taliban officials said.

Since the Taliban entered the capital, approximately 12,000 Afghans working for international aid groups and embassies and foreigners have evacuated from Kabul airport, A NATO official told Reuters on Saturday

“The evacuation process is slow, as it is risky, for we don’t want any form of clashes with Taliban members or civilians outside the airport,” said the Taliban official, who sought anonymity.

He added, “We don’t want to start a blame game regarding the evacuation plan.”

Biden strives to brush off criticism

Amid Western nations’ quest to expedite the pace of evacuations in the wake of chaos and reports of Taliban violence, U.S. President Joe Biden faced mounting criticism on Friday about the mismanagement of the troops’ withdrawal and the Islamist militants’ precipitate takeover of Kabul.

“I have seen no question of our credibility from our allies,” Biden told reporters after making a speech from the White House on Friday. “… As a matter of fact, the exact opposite I’ve got … we’re acting with dispatch, we’re acting, committing to what we said we would do.”

He asserted that every American who wanted to would be evacuated.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg called the situation outside Kabul airport “very dire and difficult”, as several member nations hard-pressed for evacuations to remain unabated beyond the U.S. deadline of Aug. 31.

Read more: West faces mounting criticism over Afghan crisis

Despite calls from the international community and within his fellow democrats and Republican oppositions, Biden has not backed off that deadline to keep troops in Afghanistan as long as necessary to bring home every American.

He defended his administration stance on the Afghan evacuation crisis by reiterating that he could not predict the outcome in Afghanistan, where the United States and allies have waged a 20-year war.

Nonetheless, he vowed to collaborate with countries to set “harsh conditions” for any assistance with, or recognition of, the Taliban, based on their human rights record.

“They’re looking to gain some legitimacy, they’re going to have to figure out how they’re going to retain that country,” he said.

“And there’s going to be some harsh conditions, strong conditions we’re going to apply that will depend on … how well they treat women and girls, how they treat their citizens.” He added on Friday.