New govt to be formed soon, Taliban say: Key developments

NEW DELHI: India continues to bring back people from Kabul in emergency evacuation missions, a week after Taliban took claim of Afghanistan.
India on Sunday evacuated 168 people including 107 Indians from Kabul in a military transport aircraft of the IAF amid the deteriorating security situation in the Afghan capital city.
Another group of 87 Indians and two Nepalese nationals who were flown in an Indian Air Force (IAF) aircraft to the Tajikistan capital of Dushanbe from Kabul on Saturday, arrived in Delhi on Sunday morning, people familiar with the development said.
They were brought back in a special Air India flight from Dushanbe, they said.
Separately, a group of 135 Indians, who were earlier evacuated from Kabul to Doha in the last few days by the US and NATO aircraft, also returned to India.
It is learnt that the Indians evacuated to Doha from Kabul were employees of a number of foreign companies that were operating in Afghanistan.
Will announce formation of new government soon, Taliban say
The Taliban on Sunday said that it will be soon announcing the formation of a new government in Afghanistan as the countries continue to evacuate their citizens from the war-torn in an attempt to secure their people.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said that talks on the formation of a new government with Afghan political leaders are underway and that a new government will be announced in the near future, reported Tolo News.
“Our political officials met with leaders here in Kabul, their views are important, discussions are moving, InshaAllah, there is hope for an announcement on the government soon,” said Zabihullah Mujahid, a spokesman for the Taliban.
Earlier, Taliban co-founder and deputy leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar arrived in Kabul on Saturday to initiate a formal discussion with Afghan political leaders on setting up a government.
Taliban on Saturday met a number of politicians including former president Hamid Karzai and Abdullah Abdullah, the head of the High Council for National Reconciliation (HCNR).
The discussions were focused on the overall political situation including the formation of an inclusive government.
Everything is finished, says Afghanistan MP, evacuated from Kabul
An Afghan parliamentarian who was evacuated from Kabul broke down after landing at Ghaziabad’s Hindon air force base early on Sunday.
A visibly anguished MP Narender Singh Khalsa had to frequently wipe away his tears as he talked to reporters and told that “everything is now finished.”
“I feel like crying…Everything that was built in the last 20 years is now finished. It’s zero now,” he said when a reporter asked him about how he feels after being forced to leave his country.
The Sikh parliamentarian was among the 168 evacuees, including 23 Afghan Sikhs and Hindus onboard IAF’s C-17 Globemaster aircraft that took off from Kabul airport earlier today.
The Afghanistan MP further said that at least 200 Hindu Sikhs are stranded in the war-torn country.
“The situation is worrisome. But religious places are safe as of now,” he added.Khalsa also said, “The Taliban is troubling MPs, senators and others by conducting searches in their homes and seizing guns and vehicles.”
Evacuees from Kabul thank Indian govt, PM Modi
A sense of relief and gratitude was palpable among the evacuees from Afghanistan as they landed at Ghaziabad’s Hindon airbase on Sunday morning, after days of uncertainty following Kabul’s fall to the Taliban.
Anarkali Honaryar, a member of the Upper House of Afghan Parliament, in a video message, said “I thank the government of India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Ministry of External Affairs and the Indian Air Force for lifting us from Kabul and saving my life.”
Alladad Qureshi, an Afghan national whose wife hails from Kashmir, expressed a sense of relief as he interacted with media persons at Hindon.
“I have two daughters. We thank the government of India, Modiji, MEA and Air Force for saving us,” he said.
Manik Mandal, a young jeweller who had gone to Afghanistan six months ago in search of livelihood, smiled as he said, “We faced a lot of problems in Kabul, but our government saved us.”
Afghan special cell established by MEA receives 2000 calls, 6000 queries; replied 1200 mails
The Afghan special cell established by India’s Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) received more than 2000 calls in 5 days, it answered around 6000 queries over WhatsApp while more than 1200 mails were replied, sources informed.
MEA has set up a special Afghanistan cell to coordinate repatriation and other requests from the war-ravaged country.
7 Afghans killed in chaos at Kabul airport
The British military says seven Afghan civilians have been killed in the crowds near Kabul’s international airport amid the chaos of those fleeing the Taliban takeover of the country.
The Defense Ministry said in a statement Sunday that “conditions on the ground remain extremely challenging but we are doing everything we can to manage the situation as safely and securely as possible.”
The airport has been the focal point for thousands trying to flee the Taliban, who swept into Kabul a week ago after their lightning advance seized the country.
Pakistan temporarily suspends flight operations to Afghanistan
Pakistan has temporarily suspended Kabul flight operations and is not evacuating anyone at the moment, according to media reports.
The state-run Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) was the sole commercial airline that had been operating flights to and from Kabul during the past few days to help in the evacuation of diplomats and foreign nationals from Afghanistan after the Taliban seized power in the war-torn country last week.
PIA on Saturday “temporarily suspended Kabul flight operations owing to lack of facilities and heaps of garbage at Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport tarmac”, Geo News reported on Saturday.
Quoting sources privy to the development, it said there were no immigration officials and security checks at the Kabul airport. Sanitation workers were also not performing their duties since the Taliban took control of the country.
US to use commercial airlines to carry Afghan evacuees
The United States said on Sunday that 18 commercial aircraft would be used to help transport people who have been evacuated from Afghanistan.
The aircraft would not fly into Kabul but would be used to carry people who have already been flown out of Afghanistan, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said. He described it as stage 1 of the program, suggesting that more commercial aircraft could be used.
American Airlines, Atlas Air, Delta Air Lines and Omni Air would provide three aircraft each, two from Hawaiian Airlines, and four from United Airlines.
This would be only the third time the US has activated the “Civil Reserve Air Fleet.” The first was during the Gulf War (Aug. 1990 to May 1991) and then during the build up to and invasion of Iraq (Feb.2002 to June 2003).
‘US to blame for Kabul airport evacuation chaos’
The United States was to blame for the chaos at Kabul’s airport as thousands of Afghans clamoured to be evacuated, a senior Taliban official said Sunday.
“America, with all its power and facilities… has failed to bring order to the airport. There is peace and calm all over the country, but there is chaos only at Kabul airport,” said Amir Khan Mutaqi, a Taliban official.
Australia evacuates more than 300 overnight from Afghanistan
Australia ran four flights into Kabul, Afghanistan, on Saturday night, evacuating more than 300 people, including Australians, Afghan visa holders, New Zealanders, US and British citizens, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Sunday.
The news came after the United States and Germany told their citizens in Afghanistan to avoid travelling to Kabul airport, citing security risks as thousands tried to flee almost a week after Taliban Islamists took control.
“We will continue to run those flights, working together with our partners and our allies,” Morrison told the Australian Broadcasting Corp (ABC) Insiders program on Sunday.

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