Kabul: Afghanistan is in serious danger of instability,” said President Ashraf Ghani on Saturday in a televised message to the nation, adding that he will not allow the imposed war to hurt the people any more.
“While I know you are worried about your present and your future, I assure you that my focus is on reducing further spreading instability, violence and displacement,” Ghani said. He said he is working to prevent the war imposed on the Afghan people from further killing, destroying 20-year-old achievements, sustaining instability and destroying public facilities.
Ghani added that he has started consultations with leaders, the people and the international community about the current situation, the results of which will be shared with the people soon.
This comes even as the US Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Friday said the United States should start conducting airstrikes against the Taliban and provide support to Afghan forces to stop the group from taking over the Afghan capital amid the withdrawal of American troops from the country.
“It is not too late to prevent the Taliban from overrunning Kabul. The Administration should move quickly to hammer Taliban advances with air strikes, provide critical support to the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) defending the capital, and prevent the seemingly imminent fall of the city,” McConnell said in a statement.
“If they fail to do so, the security threat to the United States will assuredly grow and the humanitarian cost to innocent Afghans will be catastrophic,” he warned. McConnell added that he had spoken with the Afghanistan ambassador to the US, saying they had “an urgent conversation” regarding “the deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan and the unfolding humanitarian crisis.”
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres too on Friday asked the Taliban to immediately end its offensive and said seizing power through military forces is a losing proposition. He said that it is particularly horrifying and heart-breaking to see reports of the hard-won rights of Afghan girls and women being ripped away from them.
“I am also deeply disturbed by early indications that the Taliban are imposing severe restrictions on human rights in the areas under their control, particularly targeting women and journalists,” Guterres said.
On the other hand, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joins its affiliates in Germany (DJV) and in the Netherlands (NVJ) to call on European governments to expand their refugee visa programmes for Afghan journalists and media workers. The EFJ supports the international solidarity campaign with Afghan journalists launched on 12 August by the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ).
According to the IFJ, “over 1,200 journalists and media workers have already lost their jobs with many more under threat” in Afghanistan, as the threat of violence grows and media are forced to close in the wake of the Taliban taking control of large parts of the country. The IFJ has established a special Afghanistan Solidarity Fund within the IFJ Safety Fund to channel further support and is urging those who can to make a donation. All funds raised will go directly to providing support to Afghan colleagues. The EFJ calls on its affiliates to lobby European governments to provide emergency visas and logistical support to enable those most at threat to leave the country.