Afghan president meets U.S. peace team in Kabul

Joanna Estrada
June 8, 2021

Many interpreters have already left the country on their own while several have been relocated by their former employers, for fear that after the withdrawal they will be more vulnerable to revenge attacks from the insurgents. Critics of the Biden administration's announcements anxious that the accelerating pace of USA withdrawal could leave some Afghans who worked with the departing American military in peril.

FILE - U.S. Marines watch during a change of command ceremony at Task Force Southwest military field, Helmand province, Afghanistan, Jan. 15, 2018.

"We also believe it is important to jointly strengthen the Kyrgyz-Tajik border in the direction of Afghanistan, as this is the second barrier to the worldwide terrorist organizations' possible crossing into the Central Asian region, which is a CSTO area of responsibility", Samat said. The final phase of ending US military involvement in Afghanistan began May 1, 2021.

"They are tracking us". Biden has come under increasing pressure at home to move quickly to save lives of Afghans who risked their lives working with the American military.

The Taliban on Monday assured Afghans who worked for US-led North Atlantic Treaty Organisation troops that they should not fear for their lives once these forces leave. While Afghans were viewed as foes when they worked with foreign forces, they will not face any issues "when they abandon enemy ranks", they added.

FILE - US State Department Spokesperson Ned Price holds a news briefing at the State Department in Washington, DC, on February 17, 2021.

There are about 18,000 Afghans who are trying to obtain an American visa under a program set up in 2009 by Congress for former employees of the USA government in Afghanistan.

He added that the administration has approved a temporary increase in consular staffing at the USA embassy in Kabul to conduct interviews and to process visa applications, allowing the diplomatic mission to address cases that were delayed due to COVID-19 staffing reductions and related closures.

On the same day, Taliban fighters stormed the Qaisar district of northern Faryab province, killing and wounding dozens of Afghan security forces, a police official said.

Price said the administration has also requested funding for an additional 8,000 Special Immigrant Visas from Congress. Like many Afghans, Saifulrahman went by one name.

Both sides have accused the other of provoking and failing to halt attacks against civilians.

At least 150 Afghan troops have been killed or injured in the last 24 hours in a surge of attacks by Taliban militants as foreign forces withdraw, senior government officials said on Monday.

Afghanistan's Hazaras are often the target of brutal jihadist attacks usually claimed by the Islamic State. In the first three months of this year, the United Nations mission in Afghanistan said that 1,783 civilians had been killed or wounded in Afghanistan, an increase of 29% over the same period last year.

But Blinken said it was not a given that the security situation in Afghanistan would quickly unravel after US forces pull out.

Foreign air support has until now played a crucial rule in assisting local forces to keep the insurgents from threatening urban centers. Concerning the continuation of 3.3 billion dollars in annual assistance for the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces (ANDSF), the United States delegation conveyed the White House message of supporting the ANDSF as well as supporting Afghanistan in the economic areas, according to the statement.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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