Insight Online News
Washington, Sep 2 : The State Department has sought to reassure those stuck in Afghanistan, saying they will provide “tailored” evacuation plans to get them out of the Taliban-controlled nation.
“These efforts did not end on Aug. 31 and they will not end until we have secured the evacuation of any American citizen and LPRs [Legal Permanent Resident] and folks who worked with us and served the American people and want to get out,” State Department spokesperson Ned Price told reporters on Wednesday.
The State Department would not give details on how the US intends to coordinate continued evacuations, said Fox News.
Under Secretary for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland said the department had been in contact with Americans and LPR’s within the last 24 hours to inform them of the government’s intent to continue with their evacuation.
But people on the ground in Afghanistan remain concerned for their safety and the timeliness of State Department operations.
The Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul has remained non-operational since the departure of US forces on Monday, though Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid said the insurgent group will seek to reopen it.
“Our technical team will be checking the technical and logistical needs of the airport,” he said. “If we are able to fix everything on our own, then we won’t need any help. If there is need for technical or logistics help to repair the destruction, then we might ask help from Qatar or Turkey.”
The State Department said it is examining both air and land routes to continue evacuations.
“We are exploring all possible options to bring Americans, to bring LPR’s, to bring those to whom we have a special commitment, out of Afghanistan if they so choose to do so,” Price said. “Specific individuals in Afghanistan, to include American citizens and others…will receive specific tailored messages from us as we start to develop and operationalize these plans.
“We will continue to do everything that we can,” Price added. “We’re not talking about this in the past tense because our efforts have not ended. Our efforts will endure.”
Ambassador Kelley Eckels Currie, the former US ambassador-at-large for global women’s issues, has voiced concern about the status of women in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan.
Among those at greatest risk under Taliban rule are women, who make up roughly half the country’s population and were severely oppressed during the Islamist group’s previous time in power in the late 1990s, said Currie, now a member of the Vandenberg Coalition foreign policy think tank.
“[The Taliban] are basically promising to treat them like a little less subhuman, essentially,” she told Fox News on Tuesday. “And it’s not acceptable. And it’s not going to be acceptable to these women who’ve over the past 20 years become used to being professionals, being able to participate in public life, go to school, hold jobs or work as police officers, work in the military, work as judges and lawyers, engineers.”
“And those same women now feel the most vulnerable, she said, especially lawmakers, judges and prosecutors who put terrorists and militants in jail – even as the Taliban has said it is offering a blanket amnesty to Afghans who worked with US forces and that it will respect women’s rights, under sharia.
“It is quite delusional on the part of the administration to kind of take the Taliban’s word for anything at this point,” she said. “This administration has been more than willing to take the Taliban’s word for all sorts of things, including the security and safety of American citizens.
“And we know for a fact that there have been incidents where the Taliban has beaten those American citizens, beaten their families and not allowed them to go forward into to the airport. And so I don’t know why we would expect the Taliban to live up to very basic, very poorly constructed promises around women’s rights,” she added.