New Delhi: The Taliban took control of Afghanistan on Sunday after President Ashraf Ghani fled the country as the group entered Kabul.
The astonishingly quick collapse of the government, with the terror group taking over the presidential palace on Sunday night, triggered fear and panic in the capital.
Also Read| IN PICS | Taliban Takes Over Afghan Presidential Palace In Kabul As President Ghani Flees Country
Thousands of people were on Monday trying to escape Kabul and the feared hardline brand of Islamic rule of the Taliban, with scenes of chaos as crowds gathered at the airport.
Ghani fled on Sunday as the group encircled Kabul, with the Taliban sealing a nationwide military victory that saw all cities fall to them in just 10 days.
“The Taliban have won with the judgment of their swords and guns, and are now responsible for the honour, property, and self-preservation of their countrymen,” Ghani said in a statement posted to Facebook, his first since fleeing.
In a video posted on social media, Taliban co-founder Abdul Ghani Baradar also announced victory.
“Now it’s time to test and prove, now we have to show that we can serve our nation and ensure security and comfort of life,” he said, as quoted by AFP.
Quoting sources, AP said the Taliban is likely to announce the new President of Afghanistan soon.
Taliban has also elected Mullah Sherin Akhund as the new governor of Kabul.
These are the top developments after Kabul was taken over by the Taliban:
More than 60 countries issued a joint statement saying Afghans and international citizens who want to leave Afghanistan must be allowed to depart, and that airports and border crossings must remain open, the US State Department said late on Sunday.
The US government and countries including Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Qatar, and the UK said in a joint statement that “those in positions of power and authority across Afghanistan bear responsibility – and accountability – for the protection of human life and property, and for the immediate restoration of security and civil order”.
The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) will hold an emergency meeting on Afghanistan on Monday morning at the request of Estonia and Norway.
Council diplomats said Sunday that UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will brief council members on the latest situation following the Taliban takeover of the capital, Kabul. The UN chief on Friday had urged the Taliban to immediately halt their offensive in Afghanistan and negotiate “in good faith” to avert a prolonged civil war.
- As President Ashraf Ghani fled the country, Afghanistan’s Vice President Amrullah Saleh said that he was in “his soil and with the people; for a cause and purpose”. He added that opposing “Pakistan-backed oppression and brutal dictatorship” is their legitimacy.
- UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that UK is working with its partners to send a clear message through the NATO meet on Friday that “nobody should bilaterally recognise the Taliban”.
- The United States has said that it would deploy as many as 6,000 of its troops at the Kabul airport to ensure safe departure of its citizens and those from its friends and allies from Afghanistan, which has now been taken over by the Taliban, in a sudden and unprecedented collapse of the elected regime led by President Ashraf Ghani.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken also made a series of calls to the counterparts of his key allies.
- India is gearing up to evacuate hundreds of its officials and citizens from Kabul. It is learned that a fleet of C-17 Globemaster military transport aircraft of the Indian Air Force is kept on standby to undertake evacuation missions, PTI reported.
Quoting sources, the PTI report also said that India will not put the lives of its staffers at the embassy and its citizens in Kabul at any risk and plans have already been finalised in case they require emergency evacuation. “The government is closely monitoring fast-paced developments in Afghanistan. We will not put the lives of our staff at the Indian Embassy in Kabul at any risk.”
An Air India flight with 129 passengers from Kabul landed in Delhi on Sunday evening. AI 244 had taken off at 6.06 pm on Sunday from the Kabul airport, even as the Taliban reached the Afghan capital and were on the verge of taking power.
“We are monitoring the situation and as of now continuing with our scheduled flights to Kabul,” an Air India spokesperson told IANS. Besides, the official said that the next flight for Kabul is scheduled to take off at 8.50 a.m. on Monday.
Expressing despair over the state of affairs in Afghanistan, a woman who boarded the flight told reporters in Delhi that the world has abandoned Afghanistan “Our friends are going to get killed,” she added. The passengers also include diplomats and security officials posted in the Indian Embassy in Kabul.
- American diplomats were evacuated from their embassy by helicopter to the airport as local Afghan forces, trained for years and equipped by the United States and others for billions of dollars, melted away.