Afghanistan updates

The Afghan authorities has changed its military chief for the third time in simply over a 12 months, highlighting the disarray within the nation because the Taliban sweeps apart the federal government’s safety forces.

Common Wali Mohammad Ahmadzai, who was solely appointed military chief in June, was changed on Wednesday by Common Hibatullah Alizai because the Taliban pushed nearer to encircling Kabul and forcing the give up of President Ashraf Ghani’s authorities

Because the US prepares to withdraw the final of its troops, the Islamist rebels have captured nine provincial capitals and seized management of Kunduz airport.

Preventing is raging across the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif, as soon as a bastion of anti-Taliban resistance, and the town of Ghazni, which is strategically positioned on the freeway to Kabul from western Afghanistan.

Nevertheless, many analysts had been sceptical that management modifications within the armed forces would do much to bolster Afghan troops, lots of whom seem to have melted away within the face of the insurgents’ onslaught.

“It’s actually late within the day for one thing like this to make a distinction,” a senior Pakistani official instructed the Monetary Instances.

Afghans fleeing the heavy combating in addition to punishments meted out by the Taliban have sparked warnings from the UN of an imminent humanitarian crisis. The UN estimated in late July that 270,000 individuals had been displaced this 12 months by the battle.

Afghanistan Taliban status map

Michelle Bachelet, UN Excessive Commissioner for Human Rights, warned that “the already atrocious state of affairs for thus many Afghans will turn out to be a lot worse” if hostilities don’t stop.

Critics have blamed the US choice to withdraw from Bagram air base and pull out its troops for the Taliban’s speedy positive factors.

However diplomats mentioned the rebel group had been gaining floor slowly on Afghan safety forces even when the nationwide military loved the complete logistic assist of US troops and air cowl.

“Are we shocked {that a} pressure that was nearly maintaining with the Taliban begins to crumble? Clearly not,” a western diplomat mentioned.

The US has been urgent Pakistan to make use of its affect on the Taliban to dealer a peace deal. However Washington’s relationship with Islamabad has deteriorated.

Final week, Imran Khan’s security adviser complained that Joe Biden had not bothered to cellphone Pakistan’s prime minister.

On Wednesday, Khan mentioned the US thought of his nation helpful solely “within the context of someway settling this mess which has been left behind after 20 years of looking for a navy resolution when there was not one”.

Pakistan has lengthy performed an ambiguous function in Afghanistan. Washington and the Afghan authorities consider Islamabad has covertly supported the Taliban, even whereas publicly claiming its assist for a US-backed peace course of.

Fawad Chaudhry, Pakistan’s info minister, instructed reporters: “The individuals of Afghanistan and america should ask their governments precisely what use got here from over $1tn that the US spent on the Afghan battle. Why is the Afghan military coming aside like leaves?”

Biden mentioned this week he did not regret his choice to withdraw US troops and that Afghans ought to unite to battle the Taliban, who’re transferring to reinstate strict Islamic legislation in areas they’ve captured.

Extra reporting by Farhan Bokhari in Islamabad