‘Don’t trust anybody’, says Biden over Taliban’s promises towards Afghanistan
US President Joe Biden said on Sunday the Taliban have made several promised and it is yet to be seen whether they mean to fulfill them or not as the hardline Islamist group took over Afghanistan, where the situation has been getting worse by the day. “I don’t trust anybody, including you (the reporter), I love you but there are not a lot of people I trust. Taliban has to make a fundamental decision,” Biden told a reporter during Sunday’s address.
"Taliban has said and we will see whether they mean or not. They are seeking legitimacy to determine whether or not they would be recognised by other countries. They have told other countries as well as us that they do not want us to move our diplomatic presence completely. All this talk now, so far Taliban has not taken actions against US forces," he added.
The US president also questioned whether the Islamic Emirate will make an attempt to unite and provide for the well being of the people of Afghanistan, which no one group has ever done for a century. “If it does, it would need additional help in terms of economic assistance, trade and a whole range of things,” he said.
Biden also said that he was in talks with military officials about extending his government’s evacuation mission in Afghanistan beyond the August 31 deadline. “…Our hope is, we don’t have to extend. But there is going to be a discussion, I suspect on how far along we’re in the process”, Biden said while addressing reporters in the White House.
As the Taliban took over control of Afghanistan, several countries have been rushing to evacuate their citizens through the Kabul airport, which has seen unsettling incidents in recent days as locals have been desperate to break free from the rule of the Islamic emirate. The United States military has so far evacuated 25,100 people from the war-ravaged country since August 14 and nearly 30,000 since the end of July, news agency ANI reported.
Expressing anguish over the images and videos of people escaping from Afghanistan, Biden said that there was no way to evacuate them without pain and loss. “My heart aches for those people you see. At the end of the day, if we didn’t leave Afghanistan now, when would we?” the United States President added.
Joe Biden has been facing widespread criticism over his handling of the situation in Afghanistan. Last week, several Afghan nationals in the United States protested against Biden in front of the White House by shouting slogans such as “Biden you betrayed us”, “Biden you are responsible”.
Meanwhile, the United States has asked six commercial airlines to help transport people post their evacuation from Afghanistan as the government is keen to increase the speed of departures of Americans and at-risk Afghan nationals from Kabul. Eighteen civilian aircraft from United Airlines, American Airlines, and Delta Air among others were called by the Pentagon on Sunday to carry people from temporary locations after they landed on flights from Afghanistan.
(With agency inputs)