Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid complained in an interview with The New York Times that Western countries are evacuating local qualified specialists from Afghanistan along with their citizens.
“They should not interfere in our country and take away human resources: doctors, teachers, other necessary people … In America they can become dishwashers or cooks. This is inhumane,” Mujahid said.
He assured the Taliban are not targeting former translators and other Afghans who have worked for the United States, and he said those people are not at risk in Afghanistan.
Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said Washington would continue to evacuate U.S. citizens even after the Aug. 31 deadline for U.S. military withdrawal. He added that so far the United States had evacuated 4,500 of the 6,000 people who had expressed a desire to leave Afghan territory. Nevertheless, the Pentagon spokesman John Kirby emphasized that as the 31st day approaches, Washington will give priority to withdrawal of the American servicemen and military equipment.
The day before, on August 24, Joe Biden asked the Pentagon and the Department of State to make plans in case the dates of the US mission in Afghanistan would change. However, the American leader said that meeting the deadline for evacuation from Afghanistan (August 31) depends on coordination with the Taliban. During the online G7 meeting, Biden stressed that he still intends to withdraw troops from Afghanistan by the deadline, but did not rule out extending the mission.
The Taliban has committed the United States to withdraw troops from Afghanistan by Aug. 31. The militants have ruled out giving additional time to continue the operation, threatening “consequences” if the deadline is not met.