IF THE Americans ask for an extension on the withdrawal from Afghanistan the answer is ‘No’ Taliban spokesperson Dr Suhail Shaheen reconfirmed yesterday at a press conference.
Asked by a British journalist if the Taliban have been asked to extend the 31st August end date for ‘evacuation’ and if there are any circumstances in which they would agree to extending that date, Dr Shaheen said: ‘No! The 31st is the date given and after that it is something that is against the agreement.
‘All people should be removed prior to that date.
‘If they wish to remove them they can.
‘After that we do not allow them, we will take a different stance.
‘Any extension is a violation of the agreement, we want them to evacuate all foreign nationals by the 31st August and we are not in favour of allowing Afghans to leave.’
He said: ‘They are taking Afghans out of the country to an uncertain future.
‘We would like to ask all of the Americans to leave our Afghan people – our doctors, our engineers, our educated elite, we need those people in the country.
‘We do not want them out of the country to work in their institutions or to work as slave labour in other countries.
‘There is no other way except out through the airport.
‘Because the crowd is getting bigger and bigger our people can lose their lives.
‘Children could be stampeded.
‘As the crowd increases they start to shoot. They are targeting the people.
‘As the Islamic Emirate, we will reduce this crowd and inform them to return to their homes and resume their calm lives with our assurance.
‘We have ended the fighting, ended the war.
‘We do not wish a single shot to be fired anywhere in Afghanistan.
‘We would like to make a compromise to end this crisis in Panjshir.
‘We do not wish to see fighting anywhere.
‘We want to resolve all issues through communications, sitting down.
‘We embrace everyone to live life as normal.
‘There is no danger, no risk with us.’
Meanwhile, Tory PM Johnson asked US President Biden for an extension to the 31st August deadline at the virtual G7 meeting yesterday afternoon.
Johnson also called for an increase in aid and a promise ‘to use every humanitarian and diplomatic lever’ to protect human rights in the country.
The UK, France and Germany have all raised the possibility of US forces staying beyond the end of August to continue the airlift.
However, this has now been denied by the Americans.
A Pentagon spokesman said yesterday that America’s focus remains ‘getting this done by the end of the month. There has been no change to the timeline of the mission.’