New Delhi: As hundreds of Afghans arrive at the Kabul international airport in the hopes of fleeing the Taliban regime in the war-torn country, the spokesman of the militant group Zabihullah Mujahid said that the August 31 deadline for Kabul evacuations will not be extended.
At a press conference on Tuesday, Zabihullah stated that people at the airport should return home and ensured them of their safety. He pointed out that there is enough time for foreign nationals to be evacuated before the deadline.
Further, according to Zabihullah Mujahid, the Taliban are no not allowing Afghans to travel to Kabul airport due to the chaotic situation there.
Zabihullah urged the foreign countries to “not encourage” the “educated elite” – especially doctors, engineers to leave Afghanistan. “We urge the Americans not to push skilled Afghans to go… We need their talent,” he said.
Also, he said that Afghan media outlets, as well as hospitals, schools, universities, and local governments, were now operational.
Meanwhile, President Joe Biden announced that the August 31 deadline for completing the US-led evacuation of Americans and Afghan allies from Afghanistan wil not be extended. The decision was taken after consultation with his national security team.
He opted to complete the mission by next Tuesday, which was the deadline he set well before the Taliban completed its takeover of Afghanistan on August 15.
On the other hand, the leaders of G7 said that ‘immediate priority’ is to ensure that their citizens and some Afghans seeking refuge are evacuated safely.
“We will continue to coordinate closely on this, and we expect all parties to continue to facilitate this, and to ensure the safety of humanitarian and medical personnel, and other international service providers. We will cooperate together, and with neighbouring and other countries in the region hosting refugees, on a coordinated approach to safe and legal routes for resettlement,” the leaders said a joint statement.
Also, the group sent a message to the Taliban saying that Afghanistan must never again become a ‘safe haven’ for terrorism.
The UK had called for an emergency virtual meeting of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the US on the Afghanistan crisis.