US President Joe Biden announced in April that the withdrawal of the US troops would begin on May 1 and would be completed by September- the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. The announcement sparked a debate over whether the Afghan forces were capable of stopping any possible aggression and fighting by the Taliban. A majority of US defense officials, intelligence reports, defense analysts and security experts agreed that the Ashraf Ghani's government could be overthrown after the withdrawal of the US troops.
The Taliban began advancing in various parts of Afghanistan in May after President Biden's announcement. Fighting also broke out on various fronts in June. On July 2, US forces secretly evacuated Bagram's largest military base. In August, the Taliban advanced rapidly and finally reached Kabul on August 15.
Now if you look at the Afghanistan’s map, in it, except for the Panjshir Valley, virtually all of Afghanistan has fallen to the Taliban. This includes the main city of Mazar-e-Sharif, which is now under Taliban control. It’s important to mention this city because it was a symbol of resistance even during the previous Taliban regime and the Taliban were not able to establish their presence here. The speed with which the Taliban reached Kabul and didn’t encounter any resistance in a city like Mazar-e-Sharif is noteworthy.
A question also arises as to why the Afghan forces did not resist the Taliban. Wherever the Taliban came, Afghan forces surrendered and retreated. This process of the Afghan forces was initially interpreted by some friends as a war strategy. President Ashraf Ghani also made harsh statements in the beginning. As the Taliban approached Kabul, Ashraf Ghani's tone changed, but he was slow to agree to talks.
The Taliban have demanded from the beginning that Ashraf Ghani resign from the presidency of Afghanistan so that talks can take place. When the Taliban arrived at the gates of Kabul on Sunday, August 15, it was Ashraf Ghani who fled the country. According to the Russia’s embassy, Ashraf Ghani fled the country with a large sum of money in the form of dollars. The Taliban call the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan a victory for their political, military and moral position. Ashraf Ghani's escape from the country has also put him in a strong position.
Let us return to the question of why the Afghan forces surrendered and why they did not resist. After the Taliban's arrival in Kabul, it became clear that the retreat of Afghan forces was not a tactic of any kind, but it can be said that an army that does not have political and public support does not have the fighting spirit Can do Perhaps the same thing happened with the Afghan forces. No definite opinion can be formed as to how popular the army was at the public level, but it can be said that the political leadership failed to arouse in the army the spirit of defending its cities.
With the advance of the Taliban, the anti-Pakistan circles in Afghanistan and India kept trying hard to bring down the wreckage of this situation on Pakistan. The market for rhetoric and gossip on traditional media and social media remained hot. Pakistan was shown to be involved in a conflict in which its role was nothing more than a responsible neighbor.
In the end, it became as clear as day. Meanwhile, some quarters have also questioned US and NATO military assistance and training for Afghanistan, but trainers of Afghan forces appear to be standing aside, shaking their hands and clothes as the Taliban arrive in Kabul. US President Joe Biden is also surprised by the speed with which the Taliban overthrew the Afghan government, but he is justifying his decision to withdraw troops from Afghanistan.
In his policy statement, he made it clear to the world that "we are not ashamed of the decision to end the war in Afghanistan. If Afghan forces do not want to fight, the US military can do nothing for them. Can give training and money, not the spirit of fighting. Ashraf Ghani was advised to negotiate with the Taliban, he said, adding that Afghan forces would fight. In difficult circumstances, the Afghan leadership fled the country. "
The US president also warned the Taliban that they would retaliate if the Taliban attacked US interests. Although US President Joe Biden stands by his decision, his July 8 statement is significant in light of the surprise he described. Biden's remarks have graced social media and traditional media since the Taliban entered Kabul. In his statement, the US president expressed great confidence in the capabilities of the Afghan forces and insisted that the Afghan forces would stand firm against the Taliban and defend their country.
In the same statement, the US President also said that Afghanistan is not Vietnam and the scenes of helicopters landing at the embassy here will not be repeated, but the world has seen how history has repeated itself. The good news about the Taliban's journey to Kabul was that there was no large-scale bloodshed. The peace-loving Afghan people and their representatives now have to decide their own future. The outlines of how to walk the path of peace and how to establish lasting peace in Afghanistan are not yet clear.
From Doha, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar has arrived in Afghanistan with senior Taliban leadership and Afghan Taliban’s spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid has also surfaced. At a press conference in Kabul, Mujahid formally declared a ceasefire and a general amnesty for former Afghan soldiers and aides to foreign forces. He assured that women would be given full rights in the light of Islamic teachings.
About the formation of new government, Mujahid said the consultations are underway and an announcement will be made soon. What will be the flag of Afghanistan will be decided soon, he further said. Zabihullah Mujahid assured the int’l community that Afghan soil would not be used against anyone. He also assured security to all embassies, international organizations, organizations and foreigners.
The statement of the Taliban’s spokesman is very encouraging, but it’s necessary to wait a few days for the situation to change!
Pakistan's COVID-19 death toll crosses 27,000 mark
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 3,012 cases of coronavirus were reported while 66 people succumbed to the disease in the last 24 hours, taking the total death toll to 27,004.
The total number of cases has reached 1,215,821.
As many as 1,112,236 patients have recovered from the disease with 5,039 critical cases.
The number of patients swelled to 418,196 in the province with 12,319 causalities.
The number of infections has surged to 447,678 in the province, while the death toll has reached 7,210.
The confirmed cases have surged to 169,972 in the province with 5,329 casualties.
There are 32,671 confirmed cases while 344 patients have died from the infection so far.
AJK and Gilgit-Baltistan
There are 33,551 coronavirus cases in the AJK while the death toll has reached 727. On the other hand, there are 10,204 cases in GB with 182 coronavirus deaths.
There are 103,549 cases in the capital city while 893 people have lost their lives.
Ramiz Raja becomes PCB chairman unopposed
Lahore: Veteran cricketer and former Test captain-turned commentator Rameez Raja has emerged as the next chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Monday.
To elect the 36th PCB Chairman, a special meeting of the Board of Governors (BoG) took place today, (September 13) at the High Performance in Lahore.
The PCB Election Commissioner, Mr Justice (retd) Sheikh Azmat Saeed conducted the election, presiding over the meeting.
The members of the BoG including Mr Aasim Wajid Jawad, Ms Alia Zafar, Mr Asad Ali Khan, Mr Arif Saeed, Mr Javed Kurieshi, Mr Ramiz Raja and Mr Wasim Khan attended the special meeting.
At 1415 inside the Bob Woolmer Indoor School, NHPC, the newly-elected PCB Chairman will hold his media conference, which will be live-streamed on all PCB social media channels.
As per the PCB Covid-19 Protocols, which are designed to ensure health and wellbeing of all involved, only reporters and correspondents who are fully vaccinated and have immunisation certificates are invited to attend the media conference.
Moreover, TV news channels will be welcome to use PCB’s broadcast quality live-stream details of which will be shared shortly before the start of the media conference.
Twitter tests edge-to-edge photos in timeline
The microblogging platform, Twitter is exploring ways to build more visually immersive experience with its latest test to see how images appear on the platform.
The upcoming feature will expand visual media embedded in tweets to fill the whole width of a mobile phone's screen. The new layout is being tested on iOS but not on Android.
“The change is designed to make it easier for visual content to shine,” said twitter.
In the current test, tweets fill the full frame from left to right instead of being offset by a pretty large margin on the left.
The changes result in much larger images and videos that look better in the feed and a cleaner, more modern design that doesn’t unnecessarily squish tweets to the right of users’ profile pictures.
Now testing on iOS:— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) September 7, 2021
Edge to edge Tweets that span the width of the timeline so your photos, GIFs, and videos can have more room to shine. pic.twitter.com/luAHoPjjlY
The test follows two previous image-focused changes— 4K image support and full-size images.
The 4K image support came in April and increased the resolution of images from 2048 x 2048 pixels to 3840 pixels on the long end.
While, full-size image support came in May and brought an end to cropped photos on timelines in iOS and Android.
The company, with the announcement that it is testing edge-to-edge photo support is increasing its chances of becoming an Instagram competitor.
The date for the rollout is not ascertain yet. However, users are already complaining about the change, despite the fact that it is still in its early stages.
This is because, there's no word, on when full-width tweets will arrive on some of the best Android phones.
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