The Western powers face mounting criticism over its mishandling of Afghan crisis. A NATO official said on Friday that more than 18000 people have fled from Kabul since the Afghan Taliban capture of Kabul. Such evacuation efforts have been redoubled as the criticism on the West for its perceived policy failures in Afghanistan started building up.
Thousands of people, desperate to flee the country, were still crowding the airport, even though the Taliban have urged people without legal travel documents to go home confirmed Reuters.
The unprecedented speed by which the Taliban captured the capital after the US ushered its withdrawal on 4th July left many political leaders across the world astonished and perplexed. Such withdrawal by the US and NATO forces have created power vacuums in many places in Afghanistan.
Taliban urges restraint
Amid Friday prayers, the Taliban urged the country to remain united for the first time they seized power by calling on imams to convince people not to leave Afghanistan during the chaos, protest and power vacuums.
A baby is handed over to the American army over the perimeter wall of the airport for it to be evacuated, in Kabul, Afghanistan on Thursday. Afghans continue to flee after the country fell to the Taliban. (📷Omar Haidari via Reuters)
— ABS-CBN News (@ABSCBNNews) August 20, 2021
The Afghan people have demonstrated defiance in Jalalabad and Khost against the Taliban return to power. They used the celebrations of the nation’s 1919 independence from British rule to vent their anger with the Taliban takeover. On Thursday, 19th August, The Taliban militants open fired on a crowd showing their loyalty to the defeated Afghan republic. This led to several deaths and casualties.
IN PICTURES: Thousands of Afghans trying to flee the Taliban takeover thronged Kabul airport today, with some scaling a jet bridge and climbing on top of an air plane in their desperate bid to escape https://t.co/BMZAW55YSS
(Photos: AFP, Reuters) pic.twitter.com/OvZ2NjmJzF
— CNA (@ChannelNewsAsia) August 16, 2021
These shows of defiance highlighted the Afghan people dissatisfaction with the Taliban takeover and their quest to establish an emirate based on strict Islamic laws.
Blame on the West
As images of chaos and instability are shared with the world, criticism of NATO and other Western powers has mounted exponentially. U.S. President Joe Biden setting to speak about the evacuation efforts on Friday, faced a torrent of criticism for his mishandling of the troop withdrawal, negotiated by the previous U.S. administration under Donald Trump.
Joe Biden's approval rating dropped to its lowest in his seven month presidency as the U.S.-backed Afghan government collapsed sending thousands in the country fleeing for their safety, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll https://t.co/Cw8kdP5DKA pic.twitter.com/wCBPEwK13H
— Reuters (@Reuters) August 18, 2021
The media in Britain reported that its spy chiefs may face tough time over intelligence failings. The governments of Germany and Australia have also faced calls to do more and speed up the evacuation of citizens and vulnerable Afghans.
On Thursday, 19th August, G7 foreign ministers called for a united international response to prevent the Afghan imbroglio from worsening along with comments from Russia. China claimed that the world should support and not pressure Afghanistan in these testing times.
Read more: Erdogan willing to talk to Afghan Taliban
The Chinese state media upon the comment by a Taliban spokesperson highlighted that China has played a productive role in fostering reconciliation and peace in Afghanistan. Hence the country welcomes it to contribute its war-ravaged and staggered infrastructure through rebuilding efforts.
Taliban’s moderate face
Since capturing Kabul on Sunday with minimal casualties and peaceful transition the Taliban have shown a more moderate face. By reiterating that they desire peace, will not take revenge against old enemies and will respect the rights of women within the framework of Islamic law, their approach is deemed more reasonable and considerate.
The Taliban official also added that the group is pledging to form the government including all stakeholders. Their efforts include paving the way for Taliban-Karzai talks. In the process they are discovering new problems including hundreds of government officials who have not been paid for two months. “It’s too early to say how this problem will be solved but it’s an immediate challenge,” the official said.