NEW DELHI: With Taliban fighters rapidly closing in on Kabul, and Western media quoting the US intelligence as saying the Afghan capital could fall in 72 hours, President Ashraf Ghani on Saturday said he was in urgent talks with domestic leaders and international partners to end the war.
In a pre-recorded video address to the nation, Ghani assured the people he would ensure no further instability in the war-torn nation and that the results of the talks would be made public shortly.
“As a historic mission, I will not let the imposed war on people cause more deaths. Therefore, I have started extensive consultations inside the government with the elders, political leaders, representatives of people, and international partners on achieving a reasonable and certain political solution in which the peace and stability of the people of Afghanistan are envisaged,” he said.
Ghani’s speech ended speculation that he had resigned as demanded by the Taliban. “In the current situation, the remobilisation of our security and defence forces is our top priority and serious steps are being taken in this regard,” he said.
Ghani’s address came on a day when the Taliban captured Logar and detained its provincial officials and reached the Char Asyab district, just 11 kilometers south of Kabul. The Taliban has already overrun Herat and Kandahar.
According to officials, the Taliban has also attacked the northern city of Mazar-e-Sharif from several directions. But it is unclear if the Taliban will attack Kabul or surround it and run it dry of supplies, forcing it to surrender.
Reports from Kabul said troop from the US, British and several western countries have begun flying in to the capital to evacuate its embassy personnel and other civilians. Some embassies have begun to burn sensitive material ahead of the evacuation, diplomats told news agencies. The US embassy informed staff that burn bins and an incinerator were available to destroy material to “reduce the amount of sensitive material on the property”.
More Afghans look for safe pastures
Sources said India is giving out more visas for Afghans fleeing the war-torn country. This comes even as reports suggest that amid the rise of the Taliban, the Afghan government is keen to offer the Taliban a peace deal to end the war. Hundreds of Afghans had earlier travelled to Kabul to escape the fighting.