New York [US], August 25 (ANI): As the US is about to conclude large-scale airlift operations from Afghanistan, thousands of Afghans fearing persecution are waiting outside Kabul airport, hoping to be evacuated from the war-ravaged country.
US President Joe Biden has stated that the US will not extend its military presence at the airport beyond August 31.
A Human Rights Watch (HRW) report stated that flights for Afghans desperately trying to flee will likely end even sooner, as operations shift from ferrying vulnerable civilians to drawing down military presence.
The Taliban on Tuesday had warned the US against encouraging the Afghan elite to leave the country. The Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid said that Washington should not encourage the Afghan elite to leave the country as the US has been evacuating some Afghans in recent days, Tolo News reported.
This comes as several countries including the US are evacuating their citizens and Afghans, who are at risk in Taliban-led Afghanistan.
Akshaya Kumar, HRW's Director of Crisis Advocacy said that though Biden's current focus is on ending the evacuation effort and packing up US personnel to go home, "even people approved for travel and on lists for evacuation may be left behind."
"Those who need rescue are not only people who worked directly for US or allied forces, but human rights defenders, women's rights activists, journalists, court officials, LGBTI people, and members of some minority communities such as the Hazara," Akshaya said.
She added that the evacuation needs more time and the US needs to be doing more to help at-risk Afghans trying to flee. (ANI)