US and Taliban hold first talks about the future of Afghanistan

US and Taliban hold first talks about the future of Afghanistan since Biden’s disastrous withdrawal: Warlords say they will not help reign in ISIS-K but will allow evacuations

  • US and Taliban reps met for the first time since America’s withdrawal in August 
  • A Taliban spokesperson said the group will aid in evacuations from Afghanistan but had no plans to work with the US to contain extremist groups
  • The meetings will go on into Sunday after the Islamic State said it bombed a mosque in northern Afghanistan, killing at least 43 and wounding more than 100
  • The terrorist groups also claimed previous attacks at schools and mosques 
  •  Experts warn it could be signs of increasing violence in the nation

Taliban officials said they would not help contain extremist groups in Afghanistan during their first meeting with US since the muddled withdrawal of US troops and allies from the nation in August.  

US officials were sent to meet with senior Taliban representatives in Doha, Qatar, this weekend to discuss easing the evacuation of foreign citizens and Afghans from Afghanistan and reigning in extremists groups. 

While the Taliban agreed to aid in evacuation efforts, Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen told the Associated Press that there would be no cooperation with America on containing the increasingly active Islamic State extremist group. 

Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen said the Taliban would aid in evacuation efforts in Afghanistan but said they had no plans to help reign in terrorist groups

Taliban fighters at the Abbey Gates in Kabul are continuing to assist evacuees at the airport

An explosion at a mosque in Kunduz, northern Afghanistan, on Friday that targeted Shiite Muslim worshippers has left at least 100 people killed or wounded

ISIS has recently taken responsibility for a suicide bombing on Friday that killed at least 46 Shi’ite Muslims and wounded more than 100 others who were praying at a mosque in Kunduz. 

Video footage showed bodies surrounded by debris inside the mosque, which is used by the minority Shi’ite Muslim community.

The blast, which the United Nations’ mission in Afghanistan called part of a disturbing pattern of violence, follows others in recent days at a mosque in Kabul and a religious school in the eastern province of Khost.  

Michael Kugleman, deputy director of the Asia Program at the US-based Wilson Center, said Friday’s attack could be a signal of more violent attacks in Afghanistan. 

Despite the violence, Shaheen said the terrorist group would be tackled ‘independently,’ from the current talks. 

The meetings in Doha are the first since the US ended the 20-year war in Afghanistan with President Joe Biden ordering a rushed and chaotic withdrawal of troops that concluded at the end of August. 

President Joe Biden, pictured on October 8, had issued the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan, bringing an end to America’s longest war

Desperate Afghans waded through a sewage ditch on the outskirts of Kabul airport this morning while pleading with soldiers guarding the opposite bank to put them on a plane out of the country after the US began withdrawing troops in August

Afghan families are pictured boarding a military evacuation flight at Hamid Karzai Airport as the US prepares to withdraw from the country, with other western nations set to follow

US State Department officials told Reuters that ‘the continued safe passage out of Afghanistan of US and other foreign nationals and Afghans to whom we have a special commitment who seek to leave the country’ is among the key priority for the meetings. 

US officials estimate that there are about 100 US citizens still seeking evacuation from Afghanistan. 

Secretary of State Anthony Blinken blamed the Trump administration, who brokered the deal to pull out of Afghanistan in 2020, for the chaotic evacuation. 

‘We inherited a deadline; we did not inherit a plan,’ Blinken said. 

There are currently camps set up at the airport filled with people waiting to flee Afghanistan. 

US officials asserted that the meetings with the Taliban does not mean it recognizes them as a government, the AP reports, as the group continues to face backlash over their rule of the land. 

The world has been watching whether the Taliban will live up to their initial promises of tolerance and inclusiveness toward women and ethnic minorities.

However, Taliban actions so far, such as renewed restrictions on women and the appointment of an all-male government, have been met with dismay by the international community.

Protests against the Taliban’s policies toward women continued Tuesday, with a demonstration in a Kabul private school by female teachers and students who held up signs saying ‘Education is a right.’

Afghan women continue to protest the Taliban rule. Marchers pictured on September 3 

Taliban thugs today pushed women protesters and fired shots in the air to break up a demonstration outside a school in Kabul calling for girls to be allowed to return to secondary education on September 30

Photos and video from the scene showed rescuers carrying a body wrapped in a blanket from the mosque in Kunduz following the Islamic State’s attack on Friday

The protest was held indoors to avoid backlash from the Taliban, who have recently outlawed demonstrations held without permission from the government.

The U.N. continued to sound the alarm about the country’s dire economic situation, saying a humanitarian crisis is imminent.

The world body’s children’s agency warned that half of Afghanistan’s children under age 5 are expected to suffer from severe malnutrition as hunger takes root amid serious food shortages.

‘There are millions of people who are going to starve and there is winter coming, COVID raging, and the whole social system collapsed,’ said Omar Adbi, UNICEF’s deputy executive director for programs, during a visit to a Kabul children’s hospital.

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