Malaysian PM to Attend Ramadan Iftar Dinner in Cambodia with PM Hun Sen | National Bank of Cambodia Warns Public of Social Media and Mobile Phone Fraud | PM: Cambodia Is a Model Country that Can Eradicate Tuberculosis |

Taliban says “War is Over”

INTERNATIONAL: The Taliban is back in power in Afghanistan. It recaptured the capital, Kabul, on Sunday and has declared that the war is over. It released a video statement on Monday, saying its real test would now begin, as it looks to meet people's expectations and resolve the country’s problems, but the assurances have not stopped thousands of people trying to flee.

The Taliban’s deputy leader, Mullah Baradar Akhund, surrounded by likely members of the new Afghan government, said it was time to provide for the people and to improve their lives. He thanked god for giving the Taliban victory, and committed the group to peace and to the service of Afghanistan. He was speaking from an undisclosed location, hours after President Ashraf Ghani fled the country. Afghanistan’s acting interior minister Abdul Sattar Mirzakwal, took to state television on Sunday afternoon to assure residents of the capital that there would be no bloodshed. He said Kabul would be safe.

But that’s done nothing to calm anyone’s nerves. Chaos erupted at Hamid Karzai International Airport in the early hours of Monday morning as people scrambled to board planes. An Istanbul-bound Kam Air plane reportedly couldn’t take off after being stormed by panicked Afghans. Hours later, as people continued to stream towards the terminal building, shots rang out. It is not known where the gunfire was coming from, but no casualties were reported, suggesting the gunfire was celebratory. Airline after airline is cancelling flights in and out of Afghanistan, until the security situation becomes clearer.

Mindful of the Taliban’s previous rule in Afghanistan, citizens are scrambling to the land border with Pakistan to try and flee. The Taliban has said it has no intention of returning the country to an extremely conservative Islamic state, but cities that fell before Kabul all reported women suddenly being banned from their places of work, girls being sent home from school and public executions being carried out on anyone who dared to oppose the group.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson says no-one should recognize the Taliban as the government of Afghanistan, even while conceding that it was inevitable they would return to power:

"I think it's fair to say that the U.S. decision to pull out has accelerated things but this has been in many ways something that has been a chronicle of uneventful turn...We've known for a long time that this was the way things were going."

The Taliban reclaim Afghanistan almost 20 years after being ousted by a US-led coalition for sheltering Osama bin Laden – the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks. Their new promises of peace will be closely monitored by a nervous world seemingly caught off guard by this weekend’s dramatic turn of events.

Related News