WSHINGTON: The US has expressed its concerns over the recent killings of civilians by the Taliban group in war-ravaged Afghanistan.
At a media briefing on Friday, White House spokesperson Jen Psaki said that the US is “closely tracking” and is “concerned about” retaliatory killings of civilians in Afghanistan. “If the Taliban claim to want international legitimacy, these actions are not going to get them the legitimacy they seek. They do not have to stay on this trajectory. They could choose to devote the same energy to the peace process as they are to their military campaign,” Afghanistan’s TOLO News quoted Psaki as saying.
Recently, the Taliban killed many key figures in Afghanistan, including the government’s media head Dawa Khan Menapal, renowned poet Abdullah Aifi and the country’s famous comedian Nazar Mohammad.
Multiple reports have also emerged claiming that the Taliban are looting innocent civilians after taking control of the key areas.
On Friday, the insurgent group captured the Nimroz province’s capital Zaranj.
Since the foreign troops started fleeing Afghanistan, the Taliban had been extensively fighting with the Afghan government in an attempt to gain control of key areas.
Afghans in India concern
Meanwhile, thousands of Afghan refugees and asylum-seekers in India are living in fear and uncertainty as the Taliban intensify their attacks on Afghan security forces and capture more territory in the war-torn country.
Since the foreign troops started leaving Afghanistan, the Taliban had been extensively fighting with the Afghan government in an attempt to gain control of key areas. The latest reports of the Taliban advance have left the Afghan refugees and asylum-seekers scared and worried about their relatives back home. Hameed Khan, 28, and his 26-year-old cousin, Sikandar Naseem, who run a restaurant that serves traditional Afghan cuisine in India’s capital New Delhi and is often referred to as “little Kabul” have been tuning in to the news regularly to get the latest updates, as per DW News.
“It looks scary when we hear such news. I think of my parents who are still there in Panjshir Valley in northeastern Afghanistan. Though it is safe there at the moment, I do not want to watch history repeat itself,” Naseem said.
He had arrived in Delhi three years ago and was hoping that he could also bring in his parents, which, however, is not possible under the current circumstances.
According to DW News, several Afghan refugees and asylum-seekers live in various areas of New Delhi and run many businesses including restaurants, bakeries and confectionary shops.
As per the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, in 2019, there were around 40,000 refugees and asylum-seekers registered in India. And Afghans were the second-largest community, comprising 27 per cent of them, DW News said in its news item.
“We fled our war-torn country in search of safety and a better life. In spite of the struggles that come with abandoning our lives and homes, many of us have found small jobs or even opened businesses of their own,” Adila Bhashir, who works for a travel agency said.
In the past few weeks, Afghanistan has witnessed a surge in violence as the Taliban has intensified their offensive against civilians and Afghan security forces.
The Taliban forces have also taken control over several districts of Kandahar and have detained hundreds of residents whom they accuse of association with the government. The Taliban have reportedly killed some detainees, including relatives of provincial government officials and members of the police and army.
In another recent development, civilian casualties in Afghanistan in the first half of 2021 reached record levels with over 1,659 people killed and 3,254 others wounded. The rise is mainly due to a spike in violence in May that corresponded with the withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan.
Moreover, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said on Wednesday that they will continue their attacks on Afghan officials, after a car bomb attack on the country’s acting defence minister General Bismillah Mohammadi’s house. (ANI)