U.S. allies fear the Taliban's return and the vacuum left by the West's chaotic withdrawal will allow militants from al Qaeda to gain a foothold in Afghanistan 20 years after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.
"Afghanistan is an earthquake, a shattering, shattering earthquake and this is going to stay with us for a very, very long time," the Gulf Arab official said on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the diplomacy.
"Can we really depend on an American security umbrella for the next 20 years? I think this is very problematic right now – really very problematic."
Gulf Arab allies of the United States find the way that U.S. foreign policy appears to oscillate with "180-degree shifts" problematic and fears that militants will gain a foothold in Afghanistan, the official said.
The official said that the withdrawal of the United States had sent a message to militants across the world that all they had to do was to continue their fight.
"We don’t know how this Afghan regime will turn out – we think most probably it will be the same Taliban. Slightly more world savvy but not by much," the official said.
The official said that if there was to be a geopolitical struggle over Afghanistan it would be between China and Pakistan on the one hand and Russia, Iran and India on the other.
The United States, the official said, would not be part of that struggle.
"If there is a geopolitical struggle over Afghanistan, we will see Pakistan and China on one hand and we will see India, Iran and Russia on the other hand," the official said.
"And I don’t think the Americans are going to be a part of the geopolitical struggle over Afghanistan."
Pakistan sees surge in COVID cases, active tally reaches 1,194,198
Islamabad: Pakistan is presently experiencing the fourth wave of coronavirus which is said to be deadlier and more contagious than previous three COVID waves.
According to National Command and Operations Center (NCOC), around 4,062 cases of coronavirus were reported while 84 people succumbed to the disease in the last 24 hours, taking the total death toll to 26,497.
The total number of cases has reached 1,194,198.
As many as 1,076,112 patients have recovered from the disease with 5,383 critical cases.
The number of patients swelled to 408,758 in the province with 12,135 causalities.
The number of infections has surged to 441,410 in the province, while the death toll has reached 7,073.
The confirmed cases have surged to 166,564 in the province with 5,175 casualties.
There are 32,480 confirmed cases while 342 patients have died from the infection so far.
AJK and Gilgit-Baltistan
There are 33,037 coronavirus cases in the AJK while the death toll has reached 714. On the other hand, there are 10,109 cases in GB with 179 coronavirus deaths.
There are 101,840 cases in the capital city while 879 people have lost their lives.
With 73 new fatalities, Pakistan's COVID-19 death count nears 27,000
Islamabad: Pakistan is witnessing daily surge in COVID-19 cases with authorities linking the upswing to the deadly fourth wave. Today country’s positivity rate is on 4.78%.
As per National Command and Control Center (NCOC), around 2,714 cases of coronavirus were reported while 73 people succumbed to the disease in the last 24 hours, taking the total death toll to 26,938.
Pakistan conducted a total of 56,733 tests in the last 24 hours.
As per the NCOC, total confirmed cases are 1,212,809 whereas 5,122 are under critical care.
The number of patients swelled to 416,901 in the province with 12,291 causalities.
The number of infections has surged to 446,840 in the province, while the death toll has reached 7,192.
The confirmed cases have surged to 169,429 in the province with 5,310 casualties.
There are 32,658 confirmed cases while 344 patients have died from the infection so far.
AJK and Gilgit-Baltistan
There are 33,490 coronavirus cases in the AJK while the death toll has reached 727. On the other hand, there are 10,198 cases in GB with 182 coronavirus deaths.
There are 103,293 cases in the capital city while 892 people have lost their lives.
Australia to cancel Afghan test if Taliban ban women's sports
Canberra: Cricket Australia Thursday issued an official notification, stating that they would cancel Test match against Afghanistan unless Taliban lift the reported ban on women’s sports.
On its official twitter handle, Cricket Australia said that it will not host Afghanistan planned Test match in Hobart starting November 27, if news reports of Taliban views on the women’s game were true.
"If recent media reports that women's cricket will not be supported in Afghanistan are substantiated, Cricket Australia would have no alternative but not to host Afghanistan for the proposed Test match due to be played in Hobart," said Cricket Australia in its statement.
An update on the proposed Test match against Afghanistan ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/p2q5LOJMlw— Cricket Australia (@CricketAus) September 9, 2021
The Taliban, banned sports for women in the country saying, they don't think women will be allowed to play cricket as it’s not necessary for them to participate.
According to SBS, Ahmadullah Wasiq, deputy head of the Taliban's cultural commission said, “In cricket, women might face a situation where their face and body will not be covered”.
“Islam does not allow women to be seen like this," he stressed.
Meanwhile, players from Afghanistan women’s soccer team are among dozens of athletes who were given visas to live in Australia and have been undergoing quarantine amid coronavirus pandemic.
However, it is a move that could cost Afghanistan its status as a Test-playing nation.
Afghanistan has a national women's cricket team — but its status has been thrown into question along with every other woman in the country after the Taliban ousted the U.S.-backed government.
In August, Taliban allowed men’s cricket to continue and gave approval for the men’s national team to travel to Australia for a test match in November.
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