Taliban took over the presidential palace in Kabul, Afghanistan officially ending the 2 decades of American rule in the country.
Kabul fell into the hands of the Taliban who had been taking over the country at a frenzied speed as cities after cities were conquered by Taliban-like dominoes. By the end of 15th august, 2021; the entire country had been officially taken over by the Taliban.
The Taliban commanders along with their staunch followers and fighters gave a press statement from the presidential palace. According to the sources, the fighters and Taliban representatives stated that they were working on the ground across Afghanistan so that their leaders in Qatar and other parts of the world can have a safe return to the country.
Zabiullah Mujahid, official spokesperson for Taliban released an official statement on Twitter stating
“the Islamic emirate ordered its forces to enter the areas of Kabul city from which the enemy has left because there is the risk of theft and robbery.”
How did it all start?
Taliban had been gaining momentum for quite some time now and have been in talks with the US administration and the Afghan government. The announcement of withdrawal of American troops from Afghan soil triggered the Taliban’s return to power. The withdrawal of NATO troops and American soldiers started in May 2021 and that’s when the Afghan cities started to fall into the hands of the Taliban like meager walls of mud.
Only 8 days ago, the small provincial capital of Zaranj in the far west became the first capital to collapse and fall into the hands of the Taliban. Since then one after another the Afghan capital started to collapse as the Afghan forces surrendered without much resistance.
Afghan security forces surrendered in front of the Taliban often without showing any resistance. Taliban offered them safe passage and cash along with the life of a normal civilian in Afghanistan while confiscating their weapons and military equipment.
American secretary of state Antony J. Blinken stated
“the inability of Afghan security forces to defend their country has played a very powerful role in what we’ve seen over the last few weeks.”
Millions of afghans had seen it coming. Millions of afghans had predicted that they would be stalled back into the era of darkness where they were stripped from the basic right of freedom and were forced to accept the Taliban rules and lose their lives. Those who left the country consider themselves lucky and people who have been stranded in the cities have an unforeseen future luring above them.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled the country, leaving his fellow countrymen at the mercy of the Taliban. It is reported that he fled to Uzbekistan with his wife Rula Ghani and two very close allies. He later tweeted
“Dear countrymen, I had to make the “hard choice” of leaving Afghanistan to prevent bloodshed. I call out the Taliban to “protect the name and honor of Afghanistan.”
Ghani’s fleeing from the country was heavily criticized by his followers and opponents. One of the followers even stated that it was him who brought this ordeal to the people of Afghanistan.
Ghani’s most bitter rival Abdullah Abdullah who even competed against him for presidential elections condemned and criticized Ghani’s escape from the besieged country stating that
“God will call him to account, and the people of Afghanistan will make their judgment.”
The aftermath of the Taliban takeover:
Panic, chaos, desperation, and confusion ran through the Afghanis as the Taliban took over the capital of Afghanistan, Kabul. The situation got more chaotic as people tried to flee from the country on the last available flight at Hamid Karzai international airport, Kabul.
Afghan politicians boarded planes in the day as they sensed the end was near but the civilians were left stranded on the streets, airports, etc. The streets of Kabul were clogged with taxis and cars loaded with luggage and thousands of Afghans trying to flee the country after the news hit the media that Bagram airbase has been captured by Taliban forces.
Banks were bombarded with people who were trying to withdraw cash from the banks. Shops were shuttered down as Afghanis tried to get hold of the last available source of food and other utilities to survive the next unforeseen days.
Reporters stated that Afghan security officials and policemen stripped their uniforms to gel in the crowd and stay unnoticed by the Taliban fighters.
The American impact?
20 years of American presence in the region, deaths of thousands of soldiers and civilians, over $3 billion spent on war, and the result are zero. Taliban swiftly made a comeback in power after 20 years.
2 marines standing on the tarmac on the Kabul airport stated “they were living a moment of history”. A helicopter made its flight from the airport where a poorly folded American flag could be seen which was lowered and taken out from the shuttered American embassy.
The worst fears of the Biden administration saw the light of the day as the scenes from the Afghan capital Kabul reminded Americans of a staunch comparison of the same desperate airlift of American helicopters from Saigon as America lost the Vietnam battle to the North Vietnamese troops back in April of 1975.
The American embassy known to be the epicenter of America’s efforts of rebuilding war-torn Afghanistan was shuttered by Sunday as sensitive documents and evidence were shredded and set fire before the Taliban reached and sieged the compound.
Taliban have officially taken over Afghanistan and they have announced that the country is free from war. They have also announced that they want to work for the welfare of fellow Afghanis and the betterment of the country. They do not plan to work with the power of terror and want to make Afghanistan a progressive country. All these are only words or the new agenda of the Taliban to rule the country – only time will tell!!!