President Ashraf Ghani leaves Afghanistan
Mr ghani delivered a televised message promising to take responsibility for the security of the people of kabul. There is a clear need that the national directorate of security alongside the police and the afghan army take responsibility for the security of all citizens. I have asked the defense minister and the interior minister to convey that message. It is our responsibility and god willing. We will carry that out in the best possible manner. Anyone who is disturbing the law and order or things of looting should be confronted with full force. Well, taliban fighters have been ordered to wait on the outskirts of the capital, despite no threat of imminent attack. There are worries on the streets of kabul about what the talibans return will mean for the people of kabul. Foreign embassies are evacuating their staff with helicopters going between those buildings and the airport. U.S officials are now working from that airport terminal. While some eu staff have moved to a safer quotes, undisclosed location overshadowed by its brutal rule of the past, the taliban is offering reassurances about the kind of government. It will lead, it says, womens rights will be respected and those people who worked for the government will be offered an amnesty live now to kabul and our correspondent rob mcbride, so he decided to go. I guess well hear him at some point saying, for the greater good of the country rob yeah its quite uh, quite a shock. I mean weve been expecting all day that to see uh developments with regard to this transition of power, the the story has been so far that he has been held up in the presidential palace busy in negotiations with his own people and, of course, with the negotiating Teams, including the taliban in doha, about an acceptable uh transition, which everybody i think by now accepts that would not necessarily involve him being involved.
Certainly, the taliban wouldnt want to be a part of any new administration with ashraf ghani, but the shock has come that he has actually left the country all together and is uh now in taijikistan. So it does beg the question: where is this transition agreement up? To is even, is there, is there a transition agreement for negotiators in doha to uh to agree to to consider so it really adds to the uncertainty as we get into this sunday evening here in kabul. We know what i can tell you what we do know. We know that most of the country is in the control of the taliban. Right now, kabul is surrounded, and the big question is who actually is in charge of kabul itself? It has to be said that, yes, its very tense here. There is an uneasy tension, but things do remain. Thankfully, relatively calm on the streets, the police and the army are on the streets. People are moving about uh this evening, uh. So but there are concerns i mean weve had in the uh taking of the provinces and the area around uh kabul, again more prisons being opened. This has been something that weve seen throughout this uh the conflict in recent weeks, uh that, as the taliban have advanced, a number of prisons have been breached and prisoners allowed allowed out. There was a large prison near bagram air base. This was the former base for us and nato forces that prison contained a number of isil prisoners, that prison was overtaken.
The doors were opened, theres another prison. This is policy. This is the prison that serves the kabul region uh with many more criminals there or people serving time again. The doors were open of that prison. So there is a certain amount of unease in the capital this evening. Nonetheless, the taliban has insisted that its fighters stay on the outskirts. They do not go in, they have stress, they do not want to see bloodshed, there should be a peaceful transition of power and, as weve heard during the day from both the ministers of the interior and also the defence minister for afghanistan, they too have a guaranteed That there will be security here in the capital and i guess the people of afghanistan, as well as the outside world rob and the region. Indeed, we need to know the makeup or the nature of this interim administration, government or council and i suppose, thats the explanation behind a taliban delegation reportedly coming back to qatar, because if they behave like politicians in their minds, thats clear isnt it in their minds. They maintain some semblance of credibility and accountability because theyre kind of behaving like politicians theyre not behaving like warlords yeah. They have to do that. I think to get that acceptance uh, especially from the international community, because of course, people as soon as you mention taliban will be thinking about a taliban of administration of the late 90s and through till 2000 2001, which does fill many people with dread.
You talk to people here in the streets of kabul uh. Certainly people who remember that time. They remember it with a with a a definite sense of dread, uh with some very awful memories of that time, and despite assurances from the taliban that there are guarantees now for womens rights, for the education of girls and so on. There are still very deep concerns, in fact, when we were out in the streets earlier this sunday and we started to get notification that the taliban had in fact approached the outskirts of the city and that some fighters were being reported, some some of it erroneously. There was uh some scam messages going around that there were talifan fighters walking around inside the city which wasnt the case, but it does give you a sense of the nervousness here about about the name taliban that people were concerned, uh and uh – that when you talk To people uh, there is a certain that many people dont want to see a return of that, especially in cosmopolitan parts like like kabul, but there is an acceptance also from people that, given their gains in recent years recent months and now whats happened at the moment That certainly they will be very a very uh part and parcel of a future administration. There is an acceptance until recently people were talking about. Yes, we have to share power with the taliban. That was until a couple of days ago, but given the predominance now and the dominant dominant the dominance of the taliban in the country, you have to ask yourself what kind of power sharing the taliban is going to share power with whom it does seem as though They have the upper hand in any negotiations that follow from here.
Rob youll, keep us posted im sure in the meantime. Thank you. So much rob mcbride our correspondent there uh reporting on that developing aspect out of kabul. Well, as weve been telling you, the us has been relocating its embassy staff. As the taliban encircled, the city, the secretary of state, anthony blinken, says core staff will be moved to a safer location, were moving people out of the embassy to a location at the airport. Thats happening right now, uh my job. My number one priority is the safety and security of our people, uh and weve adjusted uh along the way. As i said, we started an ordered departure from our mississippi way back at the end of april and weve done. That systematically progressively and weve adjusted depending on what was actually happening on the ground and thats exactly what were doing now. So if no american is in the embassy weve essentially closed the embassy, it sounds like you, dont want to say no were going to have a yeah were going to have were going to have our core diplomatic presence and, in effect, an embassy at a location. At the airport, heidi joe castro, following that story for us out of the bureau in washington, uh heidi yes, clearly the u.s administration says this is not saigon light, but u.s embassy staff being ferried around on helicopters and getting out as quickly as they possibly can. Doesnt, look like a huge success story: thats right peter, and you heard the strained messaging from antholy, antony lincoln.
The u.s secretary of state this morning, essentially confirming that the u.s embassy in kabul will no longer have personnel. Essentially, there will be a small embassy within the airport, his words with that core group of diplomats who will work to continue processing visas for those afghans who aided american troops and are now trying to flee the country. He also said that the presidents focus remains foremost on the safety of getting out those american civilians and diplomats and pushing back on criticism coming also from members from u.s. Politics, including republicans, have called this a disaster that was preventable, anthony blanken, saying that the u.s had accomplished its mission in afghanistan in its 20 year war, in having prevented another 9 11 like terrorist attack stemming from afghanistan, and that it simply is no longer in the U.S interest to remain in the country, he also did issue a stark warning to the taliban, saying that any interference in this evacuation effort with u.s personnel would be met with decisive and a decisive and swift response. Coming from those 5 000 u.s troops who were quickly deployed, a thousand of whom were quickly redeployed back into afghanistan when the situation rapidly deteriorated, but of course there is still much concern, much criticism, uh stemming toward the byte administration, uh that why didnt they see this Coming apparently, they had been given uh bad intelligence that it would take somewhere around 18 months for the taliban to capture the country.
Now, as that is happening before the very eyes in just weeks. The question is: why didnt they see this coming and could this have been prevented? Heidi. Thank you very much, heidi jo castro. There in washington, suhail shaheen, is the international media spokesman for the taliban. He says, fighters have taken most cities surrounding the capital, but have not entered kabul as yet. Peaceful uh transfer is very important, because if there is a fighting theres, the problem, the power their properties will be will be damaged. The people will be harmed, which we do not want that, so it is very important for that and the other thing is about future government. For that we are ready to talk. We do not see surrender the the summer, the the forces they have joined us. We say they have stopped fighting and they have joined us and all provinces in all majority of the provinces of afghanistan. They have joined the forces and they have attended or they come with their weapons and everything and they they are their names registered uh. So there were proper steps will be taken in future for uh for how they will be invaded in the government. We will be there well see. We will be waiting what i said: the peaceful trust for peaceful transfer. We will see we will see that in in future, but our uh policy and our intention is that our forces will wait at the gate of the kabul until we we are we sort of a peaceful transfer of the city.
Well, if youve been following the events in kabul, city, kabul, province and, broadly speaking, afghanistan youll know that events have been moving very quickly day to day. Events are moving hour to hour. Now the taliban said on record. They said publicly. They said in an interview with this channel that they would not tell their fighters to enter kabul city. They have rescinded that because they say that the afghan security forces have in effect turned tail and left or they have begun the process of leaving or standing themselves down from their jobs. That theyre rostered rotate through a taliban spokesman telling the reuters news agency that they have now ordered their fighters to enter kabul to prevent looting thats. All we know on that developing aspect of this story. Well, get you more on that just as soon as we can. Our correspondent mohammad jam june reporting extensively, of course, on the long running talks here in doha between the taliban and the afghan government hes keeping his company here in the studio ashraf ghani has gone. How does that impact the discussions that we think might even kick off again refresh discussions tomorrow in doha at the moment, peter a lot of confusion as to what exactly the agenda is going to be? What we know is that there is a a delegation of afghan government negotiators that is on route. They are expected to be in doha tomorrow, whats not known is who exactly is heading that team of negotiators theres been some speculation that perhaps its a new team, a team that could start off with a fresh slate with the uh with their counterparts.
Members of the taliban delegation, uh theres, other speculation that says that its dr abdul abdullah hes, the head of the high reconciliation council in afghanistan and the fact that there is so much confusion as to what exactly is happening. The fact that even members of some of these delegations arent quite sure what is going to happen tomorrow, really shows you the chaotic nature of whats going on right now. Last week we covered three days of afghan peace talks here in doha. The diplomats who were all here a lot of them special envoys for afghanistan. They all wanted to see a way to put the intra afghan peace process back on track. The last time there was a meeting of the intra afghan peace dialogue was in mid july. This is a process that was initiated here in doha last september, and it really ran out of momentum, and one of the reasons it ran out of momentum was because people didnt have leverage over the taliban, because the taliban was already starting to gain ground. Even in mid july, so last week you had three days of talks really what the diplomats wanted was to be able to come up with some kind of joint statement in which they offered a pathway forward to try to get the inter afghan peace process back on Track that didnt happen, what you got was a statement at the end of it, you know asking people to cease. Violence saying that any government seized by force by the taliban would not be recognized internationally, but not much else, and so that made people wonder what exactly is going to happen next now, we know also is that the u.
s special envoy for afghanistans almightzad has remained in Doha, since the close of those talks, so it seems as though there was a lot of behind the scenes meetings behind closed doors, but we dont yet know what its going to lead to going forward. But there is a chasm isnt there that theres a big distance between what the taliban are prepared to accept because theyve been in the ascendancy for several weeks months now right and what whatever it is, that the the remnants of whatevers left of the afghan government can Bring to that process because it wasnt lost on anyone at the beginning of the entire process, going back to september that youre talking about right, that the qataris were talking to the taliban, but the taliban were saying uh anyone from the government! No forget it. Proximity talks. Yes, maybe you can ping pong around with messages but were not sitting down with them, so they were never sort of fully engaged in the process because the taliban wouldnt allow it thats right, and you know that kind of goes last week there was an interesting day. The second day of talks there were meetings on the sidelines of these international talks and the meetings were held by the extended troika countries, thats russia, thats, the us thats, china and pakistan. These are countries its a moscow initiated group. These are countries that meet intermittently uh to try to consult on how to get the peace process back on track in afghanistan and at this troika meeting you had both the taliban in one session and then the afghan negotiators, the government negotiation another session, give their plans On how the peace process could go forward, the afghan government delegation said that they would accept a mediator.
The taliban delegation said they would not accept a mediator so again really at loggerheads and the fact is you cant really find common ground. So, even then, when you couldnt find common ground that was before kabul was encircled by the taliban, how exactly are you going to find common ground right now? How does this process go forward? Nobody really knows at this hour mohamed.