Blinken Vows Visas for Afghans Who Worked With US Troops

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The insurgents, who control or hotly contest more than half of Afghan territory, have captured at least 12 districts since the worldwide forces began withdrawing from Afghanistan on May 1.

The statement urges Afghans who worked as guards or interpreters for foreign forces to "show remorse for their past actions" and not engage in similar activities.

USA efforts to seek a negotiated settlement to the conflict between the Taliban and the Afghan government have so far met little success nor have deadly battlefield hostilities between the two Afghan adversaries eased. There are fears that the absence of USA military support in post-withdrawal Afghanistan may enable the Taliban to regain power, though Afghan leaders dismiss those concerns.

"But none should now desert the country".

The report claims that in discussions "between American and Pakistani officials, the Pakistanis have demanded a variety of restrictions in exchange for the use of a base in the country, and they have effectively required that they sign off on any targets that either the Central Intelligence Agency or the military would want to hit inside Afghanistan, according to three Americans familiar with the discussions". "They shall not be in any danger on our part", a spokesman added.

It was not clear if the Taliban were offering safety in return for Afghans renouncing their past work with the Americans, but human rights advocates said the insurgents' promises could not be trusted given their well-documented abuses and attacks on civilians, civil society activists and prominent women in public life.

China to allow couples to have three children to boost birthrate
An ageing population and shrinking birth rate does not have a positive impact on the long-term economic prospects of the country. Also on Monday, the politburo said it would phase-in delays in the country's retirement ages but did not provide any details.

Thousands of Afghans have received visas to live overseas after serving alongside US and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation troops - particularly as interpreters - but hundreds more are scrambling to leave before US President Joe Biden's September 11 withdrawal deadline.

The Taliban have urged Afghans who worked for departing USA and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation militaries in Afghanistan over the years not to "desert" their war-ravaged nation for fear of retribution by the insurgent group. These Afghans were viewed as foes previously when they worked with foreign forces, they said. But he said "I don't think it's going to be something that happens from a Friday to a Monday, so I wouldn't necessarily equate the departure of our forces in July, August, by early September, with some kind of immediate deterioration in the situation". Over 3,000 Afghans are expected to relocate to the United Kingdom under the program. Applicants often have to wait several years for a decision even though by law the process is supposed to last no longer than nine months.

"We were the voice... for the French troops in Afghanistan and now they have left us to the Taliban". Walizada said on Monday.

Asked if the administration was planning a possible evacuation of Afghan partners to a third country where their applications could be reviewed, Blinken indicated it was possible.

"We are considering every option, yes", said Blinken, without elaborating.

Other U.S. officials, notably including Secretary of State Antony Blinken, have said the U.S. will continue its "enduring and ongoing commitment to Afghanistan" and support its security forces, implying that evacuation for former translators and staffers might not be necessary.

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