In Massive Blow, Taliban Detain Warlord Ismail Khan. What Impact Will it Have on War-Torn Afghanistan
In the march towards seizing control of Afghanistan, the Taliban have now detained Warlord Ismail Khan and some other officials of the Kabul administration along with two helicopters.
As per sources, the officials have been taken to a different place, the Taliban however refused to comment on their detention and subsequent whereabouts.
The 75-year-old veteran Afghan warlord whose militia helped the US defeat the Taliban in 2001 had vowed on Friday to take up arms as the enemy who closed in on his Herat stronghold in the west.
The insurgents had captured an arc of territory stretching from the Iranian border to the frontier with China in early May as US troops began their final withdrawal.
The former politicians’ comments came as the Taliban claimed they now control around 85 percent of Afghanistan including key border crossings with Iran, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan.
Launching an attack on the inefficiency of the government and the country’s military, the veteran leader had noted that lack of attention, incorrect information, and many other reasons had led to the falling of some of the major districts of Afghanistan.
Ismail Khan was a minister in former president Hamid Karzai’s government and had been earlier captured by the Taliban in 1997 when he returned to organize an uprising, but escaped from prison in Kandahar two years later and was at large until the US invasion in 2001.
An invasion that was stepped up in May has now been able to capture crucial cities across the country. The latest in the list of cities captured by the Taliban are the provincial capitals of Kandahar, Lashkar Gah, Herat, Ghazni, and Farah.
Even as international troops pull out of Afghanistan, the Taliban have managed to capture several key cities, now almost closing in on the national capital of Kabul. Several countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom, are in the process of evacuating citizens from the country which is now almost completely under Taliban control.
Many Indians are among the foreign nationals present in the country with three engineers being rescued on Thursday from an area that was not under the control of the Afghanistan government.
Even as the crisis deepens, AFP reported that the Afghanistan government may take the help of warlord Abdul Rashid Dostum, who has been accused of serious war crimes, to hold off the Taliban’s unstoppable force. The report said the Afghan government is hoping Dostum’s military acumen and hatred of the Taliban can help beat back the current insurgent offensive.