U.S. Joint Chiefs chairman calls Afghan war a ‘strategic failure’
The top U.S. military officer called the 20-year war in Afghanistan a “strategic failure” and acknowledged to Congress on Tuesday that he had favored keeping several thousand troops in the country to prevent a collapse of the U.S.-supported Kabul government and a rapid takeover by the Taliban.
Republicans on the Senate Armed Services Committee pointed to the testimony by Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as evidence that President Joe Biden had been untruthful when, in a television interview last month, he suggested the military had not urged him to keep troops in Afghanistan, according to AP.
The Afghan government and its U.S.-trained army collapsed in mid-August, allowing the Taliban, which had ruled the country from 1996 to 2001, to capture Kabul with what Milley described as a couple of hundred men on motorcycles, without a shot being fired. That triggered a frantic U.S. effort to evacuate American civilians, Afghan allies and others from Kabul airport.
Former Afghan officials announce gov’t in exile
Former Afghan officials who left the war-torn nation after the takeover by the Taliban announced the continuation of the Afghan government in exile, headed by the former vice-president.
A statement released by the Afghan Embassy in Swiss reads that, the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan is the only legitimate government of Afghanistan that is elected by the votes of people and no other government can replace a legitimate one, reported The Khaama Press news agency.
"After the escape of Ashraf Ghani [former president] and his rupture with the Afghan politics, his first vice-president [Amrullah Saleh] will be leading the country," read the statement.
Taliban to use parts of 1964 Constitution to run Afghanistan
The Taliban said Tuesday they plan to temporarily enact articles from Afghanistan’s 1964 Constitution that are “not in conflict with Islamic Sharia (law)” to govern the country.
An official announcement quoted Abdul Hakeem Sharaee, the Taliban’s acting minister of justice, as telling the Chinese ambassador about the plan in a meeting in Kabul, The Hindu reported.
Then-king Mohammad Zahir Shah enacted the Constitution in 1964, enabling Afghanistan to enjoy a decade of parliamentary democracy on its own, without external help or intervention, before he was overthrown in 1973 in a peaceful coup by his cousin, Mohammed Daoud.
Taliban warn of ‘consequences’ if US drones enter Afghan airspace
The Taliban in a statement have warned of consequences if the United States will not stop flying drones over Afghan airspace.
The statement on Wednesday, released on the Taliban’s Twitter account, said the “US has violated all international rights and laws as well as its commitments made to the Taliban in Doha, Qatar, with the operation of these drones in Afghanistan”.
“We call on all countries, especially United States, to treat Afghanistan in light of international rights, laws and commitments … in order to prevent any negative consequences,” the Taliban said.
Taliban write to India to resume commercial flights
The Taliban-controlled Afghanistan Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has written to India’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to resume commercial flights between the two countries, the Business Standard news website reported on Wednesday.
The last commercial flight between India and Afghanistan was operated by Air India on Kabul-Delhi route on August 15, the day Kabul fell to the Taliban. Afghanistan airspace was declared "uncontrolled" by the CAA on August 16.
In a letter dated September 7, CAA's Acting Minister Alhaj Hameedullah Akhunzada requested the DGCA to permit commercial flights of Ariana Afghan airline and Kam Air between India and Afghanistan.