No agreement on extension of Aug 31 deadline for evacuation, Taliban say

  • US President Joe Biden is expected to decide as soon as Tuesday on an extension of the August 31 deadline to airlift Americans and their allies from Afghanistan.
Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid speaks during a news conference in Kabul, Afghanistan.(Reuters / File)
Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid speaks during a news conference in Kabul, Afghanistan.(Reuters / File)
Published on Aug 24, 2021 07:18 PM IST
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Byhindustantimes.com | Written by Kunal Gaurav, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

As US President Joe Biden is expected to decide on an extension of the August 31 deadline to airlift Americans and their allies, the Taliban on Tuesday denied agreeing to any such extension. Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid said the group has not agreed to extend the deadline for evacuation, urging the United States to not fly out skilled Afghans, reported news agencies.

Guaranteeing the safety of the desperate Afghans crowding the Kabul airport to flee the country, Mujahid said they can go home. The Taliban also attempted to assuage the fears of reprisal saying there is no list of people for such targeting.

“We have forgotten everything in the past,” the spokesperson insisted.

Assuring foreign embassies security, Mujahid reiterated that the Taliban do not want them to either close or stop work.

A day after the Taliban revealed hundreds of their fighters were heading for the Panjshir Valley, the centre of the resistance in Afghanistan, Mujahid claimed the group wants to resolve the situation through dialogue.

Commenting on the reports of meeting between the Taliban and the director of Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Mujahid said he's not aware of any such meeting. The spokesperson, however, didn't explicitly denied that such meeting took place.

The safety and freedom of Afghan women have been one of the major rights concerns following the return of the Taliban. During their rule from 1996-2001, girls were banned from attending schools and women weren’t allowed at workplaces. The United Nations has repeatedly raised the concerns regarding rights of girls and women. Mujahid said the Taliban are trying to come up with a procedure so women can return to work.

(With inputs from agencies)

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Wednesday, December 08, 2021