President Joe Biden speaks from the White House.—AP
President Joe Biden speaks from the White House.—AP

WASHINGTON: US President Joe Biden warned the Taliban on Monday not to disrupt or threaten the evacuation of thousands of American diplomats and Afghan translators at Kabul airport.

The response to any attack would be “swift and forceful”, Biden said in a televised address from the White House.

“We will defend our people with devastating force if necessary,” he said.

The president promised prioritise the treatment of women and girls under the Taliban.

“We’ll continue to speak out on the basic rights of the Afghan people, of women and girls.”

He defended the US pullout, saying he stood by the policy and that it was time to leave after 20 years of conflict.

“I stand squarely behind my decision. After 20 years, I’ve learned the hard way that there was never a good time to withdraw US forces,” he said.

He added that the US national interest in Afghanistan was always principally about preventing terrorist attacks from the war-torn nation on US homeland.

“The mission in Afghan­istan was never supposed to be nation-building.”

Collapse ‘unexpected’

Joe Biden acknowledged that the Afghan government collapsed more quickly than he expected even as he defended his decision to withdraw troops.

“I always promised the American people that I will be straight with you. The truth is, this did unfold more quickly than we had anticipated,” Biden said.

“We gave them every chance to determine their own future. We could not provide them with the will to fight for that future.”

Published in Dawn, August 17th, 2021

Opinion

Wheat import and food security
22 Oct 2021

Wheat import and food security

Wheat is the only commodity which justifies government intervention as the poor strata cannot be left at the mercy of the market
Living with Covid
Updated 22 Oct 2021

Living with Covid

Mental health professionals have been warning that Covid has brought with it a depression crisis.
Cricket aggression
Updated 22 Oct 2021

Cricket aggression

Good thinking, good plans and good execution will create a quality institution that can produce great teams.
Markets and disinformation
Updated 21 Oct 2021

Markets and disinformation

Journalists should be allowed to work freely as Pakistan's weak investor sentiment can't bear burden of an avalanche of fake news.

Editorial

Spate of attacks
Updated 22 Oct 2021

Spate of attacks

Following a near-constant decline since 2016, the year 2021 has witnessed a precipitous rise in violence-related fatalities in KP.
22 Oct 2021

Libel suits

THE outcome of two libel cases recently decided by courts in England should be edifying for the government — if it...
22 Oct 2021

Education losses

A NEW report on the education losses suffered by Pakistani children due to pandemic-induced school closures sheds...
Not just cricket
Updated 21 Oct 2021

Not just cricket

Hype surrounding the match — sold out as soon as tickets sales opened — has overshadowed the other games, as well as other teams.
Local governance
21 Oct 2021

Local governance

The court ruling restoring local institutions in Punjab should go a long way in ensuring the continuation of grassroots democracy.
21 Oct 2021

Breast cancer awareness

LIKE so many other issues relating to women’s health in Pakistan, breast cancer is not a subject of serious...