Timeline: How Taliban reached the power corridors of Kabul

A day after Taliban seized power, thousands of Afghans desperately attempted to board the last few rescue flights, despite cancellations.

The Taliban, a radical military organization has been fighting against the government of Afghanistan in an attempt to reimpose their version of Islam. In February 2020, a peace deal was struck between the United States of America and the Taliban which ended the 18-year conflict between them. However, soon after the USA withdrew, the Taliban usurped power of the state in a bid to establish government. 

The usurping of power was made easier by the peace treaty which called for a ceasefire and withdrawal of foreign forces among other pointers. Withdrawal of US forces was premised on the Taliban’s agreement to the above stipulations. The US government was willing to see the deal to its end in an attempt to protect US troops in Kabul and other parts of Afghanistan.

Soon after the Taliban militants seized Kabul, the President of Afghanistan Ashraf Ghani fled from the country. He later justified his fleeing by stating that he did so in an attempt to avoid bloodshed.

A day after Kabul was taken over by the Taliban, citizens flooded to the airport to flee the country. Thousands of Afghans desperately attempted to board the last few rescue flights, despite cancellations.

Alongside various other countries, the Indian Ministry of Home Affairs introduced e-visas for a period of six months to aid the refugees. However, it is noteworthy that the MHA is only welcoming Afghani Hindu and Sikh refugees with no mention of the Muslims.

Taliban’s road to Kabul

May 4: The Taliban fighters launch an attack on the Afghan forces.

May 11: 15 districts of the country were captured including the districts of Nirkh and Jalrez.

June 25: 69 districts were taken over by the insurgents, including Maidan Wardak province. The Taliban entered the cities of Kunduz and Phul Khumri.

July 11 – Australian Defence Minister, Peter Dutton announced the end of Australia’s military presence in Afghanistan.

July 12 – The commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, Austin S. Miller stepped down from his post. 

July 14 – the Taliban Captured the Afghan border post at Spin Boldak. Indian journalist Danish Siddiqui was killed there while covering the fighting.

July 21 – The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley reported that half of the Afghan districts were under Taliban control. 

July 22 – The Pentagon confirmed that the United States air force had carried out four airstrikes in Afghanistan at the request of Afghan Officials.

July 31 – The Taliban had entered the provincial capitals of both Helmand and Heart.

August 1 & 2 – The Safian, Qala-e-Kohneh, and Kariz areas on the outskirts of Lashkar Gah fell to the Taliban.

August 6 – The Taliban captured Thirty-three of Afghanistan’s thirty-four provincial capitals

August 7 – The Taliban captured Sheberghan, making it the second capture of the provincial capital.

August 10- The Taliban also captured the eighth provincial capital Puli Khumari of Baghlan province.

August 11 – The Taliban then captured Faizabad of Badakhshan province.

August 12 – The Taliban captured the city of Ghazni, making it the tenth provincial capital to fall within a week.

August 14 – The Taliban has captured seven other provincial capital cities including Mazar-i-Sharif, the fourth largest city in Afghanistan.

August 15 – The Taliban entered Jalalabad, the capital of Nangarhar Province, unopposed. It was the twenty-sixth provincial capital to fall, post which Kabul was finally captured thus uprooting the Afghan government. Ashraf Ghani, the President of Afghanistan fled the country. 

(Curated by Madhu Veechika and Marziya Sharif)

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