The Taliban is staying steadfast on their August 31 withdrawal and have said they will not allow Afghans to leave the nation during a Tuesday media conference.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid spoke to reporters this Tuesday about the United States withdrawal deadline of August 31. Despite the evacuation process increasing, many more people still must be evacuated, and President Biden has said he is thinking about extending the deadline. The Taliban, however, has promised not to let this happen.
“This was already not according to our agreement,” Mujahid said about the latest deadline. “They have opportunity, they have all the resources, they can remove all their people.”
The spokesman also stated that the Taliban will not allow Afghans to leave. The United States has so far evacuated thousands of Afghan citizens, with a focus on the special immigrant visa applicants.
“We will not allow Afghans to leave and we will not prolong the deadline. We will be deciding on this then,” Mujahid said.
“We are not in favour of allowing Afghans to leave”
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid adds it would be a “violation” of the agreement to allow evacuations of foreign nationals beyond 31 August
— BBC Breaking News (@BBCBreaking) August 24, 2021
Mujahid also fought against the United States urging Afghans to leave, asking them not to give such encouragements. He said Afghans should come back home and said that females will not be barred from work permanently.
“We are asking the Americans: Change this policy and don’t encourage Afghan citizens to leave,” the spokesman said with a translator. “Don’t encourage our doctors, engineers and our military. We need them and their talent. Do not take them to other countries.”
“The way to the airport has now been closed. Afghans are not being allowed to go there. Foreigners are allowed through, but we have stopped Afghans nationals from going because the crowd is more. There is danger that people will die,” he said.
Mujahid accused American officials of shooting “at people” in the crowds of people. Contradicting some media reports saying that the Taliban was beating crowds and firing weapons into the air amid the situation near the Afghanistan airport.
On Monday, the Taliban again said they do not want the United States extending the withdrawal date, although it seems to almost be needed in order to successfully get everyone out of the country. During that interview with Sky News, Taliban spokesman Dr. Suhail Shaheen said the extension was “a red line.”
Author: Scott Dowdy