Stop Taking Doctors, Engineers, Other Skilled Afghans Away – Taliban Tells US Government
The Afghan Taliban has called on the United States to stop taking Afghan experts such as doctors and engineers out of the country.
The Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid stated this at a press conference in Kabul on Tuesday, Aljazeera reports.
He urged skilled Afghans not to flee the country, stating that their skills will be needed in their country.
The group said Americans were taking “Afghan experts” such as engineers and doctors out of Afghanistan.
“We ask them to stop this process,” Muhajid said.
He added. “This country needs their expertise. They should not be taken to other countries.”
This comes amid warnings by the Taliban that it would not accept an extension to a looming evacuation deadline — August 31 — even as Western countries said time was running out.
About 16,000 people have been evacuated from Afghanistan over the past 24 hours, according to the Pentagon, as US troops lead an increasingly desperate effort to airlift thousands more before the Taliban’s “red line” for Western forces to leave the country.
US President Joe Biden is under increasing pressure to extend an August 31 deadline to pull out American forces, with Britain expected to lobby for that at a virtual G7 summit on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Switzerland has evacuated 292 people from Afghanistan, Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis said on Tuesday, while Switzerland would examine whether it could help facilitate talks underway between the Taliban and the collapsed US-backed government.
All local workers from the Swiss development office as well as their close family members have been able to leave Kabul or are safe at the capital’s airport, he said.
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said the United States military is still planning to withdraw all US forces from Afghanistan by August 31.
“We are absolutely still aiming for the end of the month,” Kirby said at a Pentagon media briefing on Tuesday.
”The Taliban have been very clear about what their expectations are,” said Kirby.
The US has thousands of troops at the Kabul airport who are evacuating US citizens, Afghans and other nationals from the city now under Taliban control. “The daily communication with the Taliban commanders is going to have to continue. That is just a hard fact,” Kirby said.