Rapid Taliban takeover in Afghanistan surprising, say officials

Collapse of security forces in the of militant advance was not expected

August 15, 2021 09:25 pm | Updated 09:29 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Escaping chaos: Passengers walking to the departure terminal of the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul.

Escaping chaos: Passengers walking to the departure terminal of the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul.

India’s security establishment was taken by surprise at the rapid pace with which the Taliban has taken over control of Afghanistan , a senior Government source said on Sunday.

Also read: Taliban await 'peaceful transfer' of power

“We were surprised at the rapid gains made by the Taliban,” the source said, even as a second source stated that India would operate more flights to Kabul to bring back stranded citizens in Afghanistan.

American officials had previously conveyed to the Indian side about the training and advances made by the Afghan National Army, but the collapse in the face of Taliban advances was not expected, the first source stated.

“We are monitoring the situation closely and will take all necessary steps to evacuate our nationals stranded in Afghanistan,” the second source maintained.

As late as Thursday, the Reuters news agency, in a report, cited a U.S. defence official as saying that the Taliban could take over Kabul in 90 days. In actuality, the advance was rapid and U.S. officials were way of the mark.

“It’s also possible that this has been agreed upon in advance with the Americans at the Doha talks. We will have to wait and watch how this turns out,” a third official, who also preferred anonymity, said.

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