'To prevent bloodshed,' says Ghani on why he left Afghanistan
The Taliban is in full control of Afghanistan after its capital Kabul fell and President Ashraf Ghani fled the country over the weekend. In his first statement after leaving, Ghani said he did so to prevent a "flood of bloodshed." Even though he did not reveal his whereabouts, TOLO News reported he has gone to the neighboring Tajikistan.
'Taliban now responsible for the honor of their countrymen'
"The Taliban have won with the judgment of their swords and guns, and are now responsible for the honor, property, and self-preservation of their countrymen," Ghani said in a statement on Facebook. "They are now facing a new historical test. Either they will preserve the name and honor of Afghanistan or they will give priority to other places and networks."
'If unchecked, a humanitarian catastrophe would unfold'
"If left unchecked, countless patriots would be martyred and the city of Kabul would be devastated, resulting in a major humanitarian catastrophe in the six-million-strong city," Ghani added in the statement.
'Time to test and prove,' says the Taliban
Meanwhile, Taliban co-founder Abdul Ghani Baradar announced his outfit's victory in a video posted on social media. "Now it's time to test and prove, now we have to show that we can serve our nation and ensure security and comfort of life." "Today is a great day for the Afghan people and the Mujahideen," a spokesman for the group said on TV.
Taliban had reached Kabul on Sunday
The Taliban astonishingly seized city after city before reaching Kabul on Sunday afternoon and asking for a "peaceful transition" of power, which it was given. The insurgents faced little resistance in most parts of the country as Afghan forces and powerful former warlords all but surrendered. Separately, the United States, India, and other countries are rushing to evacuate their diplomats and nationals from Afghanistan.
Afghanistan's situation began deteriorating in May
The situation in Afghanistan has deteriorated dramatically since May, when the US and its allies began pulling out troops from the country after 20 years of war, following the 9/11 attacks. Afghans now worry for their future, remembering the horrors of the previous Taliban regime when people, especially women and girls, were devoid of their rights. Many are fleeing to India and other countries.