China blames US for Afghan crisis

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Beijing says Washington has been trying to force its so-called freedom and democracy on others and push for regime changes around the world, reports Asian Lite News

China has reacted sharply over the unfolding chaos in Afghanistan, blaming the US for allowing the security situation to deteriorate by “hastily” withdrawing all its troops from the country and leaving behind a “mess and turmoil” for the Afghan people.

“The US has been trying to force its so-called freedom and democracy on others and push for regime changes around the world. This has led to conflict, war, terrorism, refugees, among other complications that still persist today,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said. “The US, in disregard of its responsibilities and obligations, hastily withdrew from Afghanistan, leaving a mess and turmoil to the Afghan people and regional countries.”

Separately, Pakistan-based News International has reported that Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi is set to discuss the Afghan security situation with counterparts from Russia, India, Pakistan and several Central Asian countries at a meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation next week.

Afghan security force members take part in a military operation in Chahar Dara district of Kunduz province, Afghanistan, Jan. 16, 2018. The Kunduz province, as well as neighboring Baghlan and Takhar provinces, have been the hotbeds of heavy clashes over the past couple of months as Taliban has been trying to attack the government forces in the once relatively peaceful region. (Xinhua/Ajmal Kakar/IANS)

Anti-missile system set up at Kabul airport

Afghan authorities said on Sunday that they have installed an anti-missile system at Kabul’s main airport to counter incoming rockets, as the Taliban pressed on with a blistering offensive across the country.

Washington and its allies are due to end their military mission in Afghanistan at the end of next month, even as the insurgents claim that they now control 85% of the country’s soil.

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“The newly installed air defence system has been operational in Kabul since 2am on Sunday,” the country’s interior ministry said. “The system has proven useful in the world in repelling rocket and missile attacks.”

Afghan security forces spokesman Ajmal Omar Shinwari said the system was given by “our foreign friends”. “It has complicated technology. Our foreign friends are operating it while we are trying to build the capacity to use it,” he said.

The Taliban fighters have been regularly launching rockets at government forces across Afghanistan.

President Joe Biden during a press briefing (Source witter@POTUS)

‘Pakistan can facilitate peace, not guarantee it’

Pakistan said it is prepared to deal with the spillover effect it may face in case a civil war unfolds in Afghanistan, the country’s army spokesman said, insisting that Islamabad is only a “facilitator” of the Afghan peace process, not a “guarantor”.

“Pakistan is only a facilitator of the Afghan peace process, not a guarantor,” Babar Iftikhar told ARY News. “Pakistan has no favourites among the Afghan stakeholders. The Afghans have to choose their leadership.”

He said Pakistan was well aware that the situation in Afghanistan was deteriorating and that measures were taken to deal with it. He also said the security on the border has been tightened. Over 90% of the 2,611km border has been fenced. Pakistan is “very well prepared” to handle the current situation, the spokesperson said, adding that there were fears of a fresh wave of Afghan refugees heading towards Pakistan.

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