(PTI) Washington, DT
A media report claimed that for the first time since the Taliban captured Kabul, the director of America’s top spy agency CIA held a secret meeting with Taliban leader Abdul Ghani Baradar on Monday. The visit comes at a time when the Taliban has threatened the United States not to extend the withdrawal of its troops from Afghanistan until the 21st. The Taliban has also threatened the United States not to instigate Afghan citizens to leave the country.
The Taliban took control of Kabul on 12 August, just two weeks before the United States withdrew its forces by 31 August after nearly two decades of costly warfare. However, they are waiting for 31 August for the official announcement of government formation.
At that time, CIA Director William J. The Washington Post, citing US officials, claimed that Burns held a high-level meeting with Taliban leader Abdul Ghani Baradar in Kabul on Monday. The United States is working day and night to evacuate thousands of American civilians and allied forces from Afghanistan, and President Biden has called the operation the longest and most difficult airlift operation in history.
On the other hand, the Taliban on Monday vehemently refused to extend the US deadline. The Taliban on Tuesday warned the United States not to instigate Afghan citizens to leave the country and to withdraw only American civilians and troops by the 21st. Taliban leader Abdul Ghani Baradar spent eight years in a Pakistani prison before his release in 2014. Baradar led the Taliban’s peace talks with the Trump administration in Qatar over the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan.
On the other hand, after the Taliban seized power in Kabul, Baradar took a softer stance and ruled that the Taliban would rule Afghanistan under Islamic law, with all people participating in taking the country forward without discrimination. Many experts see Baradar as the new president of Afghanistan. Baradar is currently meeting with jihadist leaders and politicians to form a new government in Afghanistan.
The White House said in a statement that US forces evacuated 31,500 people from Kabul airport on Tuesday. This figure is the largest ever. Six US military planes and six allied aircraft evacuated 4,500 people from Kabul airport. On the other hand, the crowd at Kabul airport is fleeing the country for fear of Taliban rule.
Meanwhile, eight more people were brought to India from Dushanbe on Tuesday as part of the operation to bring back Indian nationals from Afghanistan, including six Afghans and some Afghan Sikhs and Hindus. He was evacuated yesterday from the Tajik city of Kabul. In addition, more than 200 people have been brought to India from Kabul since August 15.