Afghanistan crisis: Taliban warn US of 'consequences' if August 31 deadline extended
The Taliban, which seized power in Afghanistan on August 15, have warned that the United States will see "consequences" in the event of an extension beyond August 31 on the stay of American troops in the war-torn nation, according to Hindustan Times' sister publication Live Hindustan. The development comes after US president Joe Biden, on Sunday, informed of discussions within his administration of possibly extending the deadline of the withdrawal of the US forces beyond August 31.
According to Live Hindustan, the Islamist regime is treating August 31, which was announced by Biden earlier this year, as the "final" date by which all American troops deployed in Afghanistan will have been withdrawn. However, the US president, who has faced severe criticism over the ensuing chaos, is considering extending the deadline to facilitate evacuation missions from the Kabul airport, which, since the Taliban's takeover of Afghanistan, has been thronged by Afghans desperate to leave their homeland.
Also, at an emergency meeting of the G7 convened by British prime minister Boris Johnson on Tuesday, the UK is likely to urge the US to extend the deadline.
The Taliban's "warning" to the US can be linked to previous reports that claimed that the extremists will not announce a new "government" till August 31 as per an "agreement" with the Biden administration. The insurgents captured Kabul last Sunday amid the ongoing withdrawal of the American soldiers from Afghanistan, thus seizing power for the second time. Earlier, they ruled from 1996-2001 but were then defeated by the US-led troops who arrived here following the 9/11 attacks. Since then, the Americans have been in Afghanistan for nearly two decades.