Taliban militants issued a statement on Sunday calling for the residents of Kabul to be calm saying they wanted to take the capital city peacefully.
The statement comes after panicking residents were seen queuing for travelling documents – passports and visas – and money at banks planning to leave the city.
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The Taliban that has already captured 24 out of 34 cities is reportedly outside the Kabul gates. Reports suggest Taliban representatives at the Kabul Presidential Palace negotiating for a peaceful transition of power with a transitional authority being considered.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said that all fighters had been instructed to be on standby at all entrances to Kabul until a peaceful and satisfactory transfer of power was agreed upon. He said:
All the wealthy people, the businessmen, they should be safe and protected. None of the Taliban are allowed to go to any houses or conduct searches on businesses and the Islamic Emirate gives them full protection and they should be safe and not worry.
The people who are trying to fight against us, we suggest to them not to do so and they will be fully protected. They can leave as ordinary people.
Meanwhile, the United States of America has started to evacuate its personnel at the embassy in Kabul. A U.S. top translator has asked the Taliban not to enter Kabul until all U.S. personnel have been evacuated, a process that could take up to Tuesday.
President Joe Biden announced the authorisation of additional direct deployment of 1 000 troops to Afghanistan in a statement Saturday.
He authorised the deployment “to make sure we can have an orderly and safe drawdown of US personnel and other allied personnel and an orderly and safe evacuation of Afghans who helped our troops during our mission and those at special risk from the Taliban advance.”
Biden formally announced in July that US troops would fully withdraw from Afghanistan by August 31.
He has remained steadfast in his decision to withdraw, telling reporters earlier this week that he did not regret it and it was time for Afghans to “fight for themselves.”
The development is a clear change to the US foreign policy after four presidents had overseen the US war in Afghanistan.