New Delhi, Aug 21: While the Taliban have been talking about granting “general amnesty” to everyone in Afghanistan, the ground reality is that they are actively searching for people who worked for NATO forces or the previous Afghan government, according to a confidential UN document.
The document prepared by the RHIPTO Norwegian Center for Global Analyses, which provides intelligence to the UN, states that Taliban militants have been going door-to-door to find targets and threatening their family members, the BBC has revealed.
“It is in writing that, unless they give themselves in, the Taliban will arrest and prosecute, interrogate and punish family members on behalf of those individuals.”
He warned that anyone on the Taliban’s blacklist was in severe danger, and that there could be mass executions, Christian Nellemann, who heads the group that authored the report, told the BBC.
“There are a high number of individuals that are currently being targeted by the Taliban and the threat is crystal clear,” Nellemann said.
US news channel CNN has also reported from Kabul that officials who have been working with ousted President Ashraf Ghani have been receiving threats on their mobile phones.
President Joe Biden’s promise to evacuate over 20,000 at-risk Afghans who have been working with the U.S. government appears to have run into the Taliban barrier as many of these individuals are facing an uphill task in reaching the airport.
Some of these individuals are still in the provinces and have to go through several Taliban check-points before they can reach Kabul. Many of those who are in Kabul are unable to reach the airport as they cannot get past the gun-toting Taliban fighters who have set up barriers at crucial points.
An Afghan interpreter working with the Australian government was shot in the leg on Wednesday morning while he was on his way to the airport along with his family to board a military flight to Australia, according to a report in the Guardian.
The Taliban has agreed to “a safe passage” for civilians and this is what the US and NATO want to see unfolding on the ground, but the situation is chaotic and things are not playing out in the desired manner.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg admitted in an interview on CNN that at-risk Afghans were facing a problem in reaching the Kabul airport. He said that NATO was in touch with the Taliban leadership to allow such individuals to come to the airport.
India’s embassy staff in Kabul had also been held up for a day as they could not reach the Kabul airport on Monday but eventually contact was established with the Taliban leadership to enable them to board the Indian Air Force plane at the Hamid Karzai Airport on Tuesday. Armed Taliban fighters had escorted the Indian contingent to the airport.
However, the Taliban had searched India’s consulates in Herat, Jalalabad and Kandahar and taken away vehicles, despite assurances that they would safeguard all diplomatic missions.
The Taliban also knows the world is watching and have become a lot savvier than their earlier rule as was reflected in the first press conference they hosted in Kabul on Tuesday. It was at this press briefing, which was open to the foreign media, that they had announced a general amnesty even for those who had fought against them.
Analysts are of the view that the Taliban are putting up a facade to get recognition for their regime but there is no real change of heart as such.
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