Afghanistan: Taliban use gunfire to celebrate US leaving Kabul
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President Ghani fled Afghanistan as the Taliban invaded the presidential palace on Sunday, August 15, and announced themselves as new leaders of the “Islamic Emirate”. But the UK should not recognise the Taliban as the legitimate leaders of Afghanistan, according to 66 percent of voters that took part in a poll of 5,020 people held from 10pm August 27 to 12pm August 31.
The Taliban leaders declared an amnesty with prior enemies in their first international press conference.
They said: “We have pardoned anyone, all those who had fought against us.
“We don’t want to repeat any conflict anymore again.
“Therefore, the Islamic Emirate does not have any kind of hostility or animosity with anybody; animosities have come to an end and we would like to live peacefully.
“We don’t want any internal enemies and any external enemies.”
But many have argue that reports of rape, assault and murder of innocent civilians by Taliban fighters suggest the leader’s message of peace does not ring true further down the ranks.
Afghan civilians have urged global leaders not to trust the Taliban.
Crystal Bayata, a 19-year-old Afghan, said: “Every Talib was saying that for only 20 days you guys are free.
“Everyone is scared now.
“Till the time that they shoot me, I will strive and I will seek my goals, and I will not let them deprive me of my fundamental rights.”
A female Afghan journalist desperately cried: “I can’t breathe here.
“Taliban beating me here, they fighting me here, they shooting [at] me here.”
“If they know [I am a journalist] they will kill me.”
One reader asked: “What’s the point of recognising the Taliban? It makes no difference to them.”
Someone else answered: “Apart from the fact they are the de facto government.
“We can’t just pretend this hasn’t happened simply because we don’t like it, or it makes us look bad.”
“We are where we are, and we need to accept reality.
“At this point, the biggest danger is ISIS overthrowing the Taliban, not the Taliban itself.”
Another reader argued: “The Taliban don’t even have the right to breathe never mind run a country!
“They have dead hearts beating in their chests, and in their heads, there are maggots and bile, and they want to be recognised as legitimate leaders?”
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The last British troops flew home from Afghanistan on Sunday, after a huge evacuation mission that rescued more than 15,000 people.
The vast majority of Express readers, 82 percent, said that British troops should not remain in Afghanistan after the US pulled out.
The full withdrawal of US troops today, August 31, was celebrated with gunfire into the night sky by Taliban supporters across the city of Kabul.
Today marks a monumental moment in history as a 20-year battle, dubbed as the “forever war”, comes to a close, with US retreat.
Since the conflict began in 2001, more than 2,370 US service people were killed and 454 British forces personnel.
Ex-Prime Minister Tony Blair has been criticised extensively for his decision to join President Bush on the invasion of Afghanistan.
One reader said: “We are a few trillion poorer and still have terrorists.
“You have a lot to answer for Blair.”
Another said: “I remember that we had some of the largest protests ever, more than a million people of all stripes and political persuasions congregating in London to say no.
“Tony and his cronies said so what and took us in anyway.”
According to 80 percent of Express voters, Britain should never have invaded Afghanistan.
A voter remarked: “I think we should just leave them to get on with it, probably shouldn’t have been there in the first place.
“Too many British people have died or been severely injured, and huge amounts of taxpayer cash has been spent trying to help a country that doesn’t seem to want to fight for itself.”
Another reader fervently argued that the Taliban and Afghans have the right to live life how they please without Western interference, despite human rights abuses.
They wrote: “Throughout history, the West has tried to “democratise” countries like Afghanistan and failed, and they tried to do it purely for political expediency, nothing else.
“The Western powers are best advised to leave them alone.”
“The Taliban are the natural inhabitants of Afghanistan.
“Whatever the Afghanis do whether it’s stoning women, marrying off ten-year-old girls, throwing a dead sheep around on horseback, or infighting amongst themselves, is their tradition and part of their culture.
“What we find abhorrent, is their way of life.
“We are the intruders forcing Western culture on to them, it doesn’t work.
“The same can be said with the Middle East, no matter how many expats go there and build their cities and infrastructure, they stick solidly behind their culture.”
When asked how much progress Britain and America’s presence made in Afghanistan, 44 percent of people said ‘nothing’, 40 percent said ‘very little’, 13 percent said ‘substantial progress’, and three percent said ‘a great deal’.
Many outcries have been heard from relatives of Armed Forces casualties who have said their loved ones fought in vain.
They argue that President Biden’s handling of the withdrawal empowered the Taliban to re-claim power and undo the progress and order that the West had established.
A mother of a war veteran said: “I’ve cried tears since yesterday because it just hurts to see all of that time, effort, lives, going down the tubes.
“It’s hard to believe that all who fought so hard, who died, who will never be the same because of mental illness or loss of facilities, was all in vain.”
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