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World warns Taliban of isolation

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KABUL: NATO, UN and Britain have warned the Taliban will be isolated if they continue to take power by force as Afghanistan is slipping out of control in the face of rapid Taliban gains.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said in a statement after a meeting of the North Atlantic Council on Friday that NATO would continue its diplomatic presence in Kabul. According to him, the Taliban must understand that if it seizes Afghanistan by force, the international community will not recognize the group.

“NATO is committed to a political solution to the crisis in Afghanistan,” Stoltenberg said.

This is as the United Nations has warned of continuing war in Afghanistan’s cities, saying the consequences of such wars will be dire.

In the past few weeks, however, the Taliban have made rapid progress and taken control of more than half of Afghanistan’s provinces.

“The war in Afghanistan’s cities will be a disaster,” UN Secretary-General António Guterres told a news conference in New York on Friday. Referring to the effects of the war on the lives of civilians in Kandahar and Lashkargah, he said, “Now you can imagine the effects of such wars in Kabul.”

He said the UN currently has no plans to withdraw from Afghanistan and will continue to stay despite escalation of the war.

British Prime Minister also expressed concern about the current situation in Afghanistan and stressed that the international community must work with its allies in Afghanistan and the region to prevent it from becoming a haven for terrorists again.

“What we did was right and it was worth it, what we need to do now is not to turn away from Afghanistan. As a member of the Security Council and a country that is deeply involved in the strategic future of the region,” Boris Johnson told a news conference in London on Friday. “We must work with our partners to ensure that the Afghan government does not allow the country to become a hotbed of terrorism”.

Meanwhile, Atta Mohammad Noor, the leader of the Jamiat Party branch, and Abdul Rashid Dostum, the leader of the National Movement in northern Afghanistan, have announced that they will continue to resist the Taliban.

According to a statement from Marshall Dostum posted on his Facebook page, the two met with the governor of Balkh, the commander of the Shaheen Corps and other security officials in the north, and stressed the need for coordination and unity of security and defense forces against the Taliban.

Atta Mohammad Noor and Marshall Dostum, who fought bloody battles against the Taliban in northern Afghanistan more than two and a half decades ago, have vowed to resist to the last drop of blood.

It was decided at the meeting that Atta Mohammad Noor would lead the anti-Taliban forces and that Marshal Dostum would oversee all operations and fronts of the war, the security forces, the popular uprisings and the air force.

The Taliban have reacted strongly to the announcement of the movement and the population.

Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman, said the outcome of the opposition to the Taliban would be difficult for them. “It will not be arbitrary. In a short time, you will see that they regret what they have said.”

Earlier, Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani had announced widespread resistance against the Taliban. Amrullah Saleh, his first deputy, wrote on his Facebook page after a security meeting on Friday at the Presidential Palace that the government stood against the “Army of Terror and Ignorance” and supported the national resistance against the invasion with all its might.

Sources at the presidential palace said the decision to resist the Taliban was made after the Taliban demanded the unconditional handover of power from the Afghan government.

According to Radio Azadi, two sources, who declined to disclose their letters due to the sensitivity of the issue, said on Friday that President Ghani and other Afghan government leaders were committed to peace talks and any political solution, but said the government’s resignation paved the way. It will open the door to chaos in the country, and for this reason, the decision has been made to resist.

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