Consequences if US violates exit deadline: Taliban

KABUL: The Taliban have warned there will be “consequences” if the United States and its allies extended their presence in Afghanistan beyond Aug 31, saying that US had already violated its previous May 1 deadline to pull out troops.

If the US and its allies continued to stay beyond the agreed second deadline, it would be considered ‘the extended occupation of foreign forces’ and there would be consequences. It would then depend on the Taliban leadership how they would react, spokesman Suhail Shaheen told the Geo News show Aaj Shahzeb Khanzada Ke Sath on Monday night.

About chaotic scenes at airport and panic elsewhere in Kabul, the Taliban spokesman held ex-president Ashraf Ghani and his administration responsible for it. He said the Kabul administration should not have abandoned security posts and offices while Ghani had no rationale to flee the country when everyone knew that the Taliban forces instead of entering the city had asked for peaceful transfer of power to prevent bloodshed.

Asked if the ISIS posed a real threat to attack Kabul airport and how the Taliban could guarantee security, the Taliban spokesman said: “We are cautious about ISIS potential to attack the airport, as the Afghan forces abandoned their posts and ISIS prisoners were out. Our intelligence office is active.” However, he said, the former Kabul administration should be asked why they had abandoned jails and security posts that resulted in loot, plundering and a chaotic situation. “We have restored calm. Every passing day situation is improving,” he said.

About jailbreak or release of ISIS terrorists, he said the security forces should have handed over the posts and offices instead of abandoning them. He asserted that ISIS was a “foreign phenomenon, as it does not have roots in Afghanistan.” Those foreign elements had gone into hiding, he said, suggesting them to leave Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.