By Express News Service

The fall of Kabul looked imminent on Friday with the Taliban intensifying its offensive in Afghanistan by capturing four more provincial capitals in a span of 24 hours. The fundamentalist Islamist militia has now encircled the capital and largest city Kabul and seemed to gain full control of the country much earlier than projected. It already has taken control over two-thirds of the nation including the second and third largest cities Kandahar and Herat. While Kabul has not come under threat yet, it could happen soon.

Reports say hectic parleys are underway to negotiate a peace deal. The Taliban has said it won’t relent until President Ashraf Ghani steps down. In which case, chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation, Dr Adbullah Abdullah may head a caretaker government for the transition. 

With the situation remaining fluid, most countries have started evacuating their nationals from Afghanistan. On Friday, Denmark and Finland joined the US,  UK and Canada to pull out their personnel. The US is deploying 3,000 additional troops to help evacuate its personnel. The UK, too, is sending 600 troops. So is Canada. India, however, has no plan to close its embassy in Kabul.  Meanwhile, thousands of Afghan citizens have fled their homes hoping to escape the militia’s brutality. 

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