As the Taliban moves in the striking distance of Kabul, the Afghan Army chief General Wali Mohammad Ahmadzai has postponed a visit to India that was scheduled this week. The official visit of Ahmadzai, which had been planned for several months, would have coincided with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken's visit to New Delhi. Ahmadzai, who was appointed as part of a reorganisation of Afghanistan's security apparatus last month, was scheduled to visit India from July 27 to 30.
It is to be noted that General MM Naravane, Ahmadzai's Indian equivalent, was set to meet with him, as well as National Security Adviser Ajit Doval including other top security brass. He also planned to visit Pune to meet Afghan cadets undergoing training at military colleges. The visit would have allowed the two countries to undertake talks about the security situation in Afghanistan, which is being exacerbated by the Taliban's campaign to seize territory and key border crossings with neighbouring nations.
Did you know it was against the Islamic religion to kill or execute anyone during Eid or the holy months? But #Taliban have their own version of Islam clearly. Here, the President of Afghanistan is praying the holy morning prayer and they bomb away. pic.twitter.com/efvfwV16Dz— Hend F Q (@LadyVelvet_HFQ) July 20, 2021
Taliban marches on
Intense combat has been reported across Afghanistan as the Afghan troops try to retake districts and important centres taken by the Taliban in a campaign that has coincided with the rapid withdrawal of US and NATO forces. The United States recently conducted airstrikes to halt the Taliban's progress. India is assisting in the medical treatment of injured Afghan military personnel, with a number of them being treated in hospitals around the nation. It also plays a significant role in training Afghan military people, with 300 cadets now training in the country.
UN warns of massive civilian causalities
Meanwhile, the United Nations warned on Monday that if the Taliban's offensives across the nation are not halted, Afghanistan could face the largest number of civilian casualties in more than a decade. Since early May, when the insurgents ramped up efforts to coincide with the final evacuation of US-led foreign soldiers, violence has increased. The UN Assistance Agency in Afghanistan (UNAMA) warned in a report released Monday that civilian casualties in the first half of 2021 are projected to reach their highest single-year levels since the mission began reporting more than 10 years ago.